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Freescale's US DoD Ambitions will be Challenged by NXP Ownership

by Sylvia McCafferty | Mar 06, 2015

NXP Semiconductors will buy Freescale Semiconductor and merge operations in a deal that will result in a combined company valued at over $40 billion. With a focus on consumer markets, Strategy Analytics Advanced Defense Systems (ADS) service analysis of this acquisition recommends that the new entity consider alternate options for its high power RF (radio frequency) business if it is to effectively leverage the substantial semiconductor opportunity from global spending on defense systems that Freescale had started to target.

Strategy Analytics’ analysis of Freescale’s opportunity potential in the defense sector and the resulting impact of the NXP acquisition are covered in the “Can Latecomer Freescale Compete Against the Incumbents in the GaN RF Market?” and “Freescale Plans to Become a Regular US DoD Supplier will be Challenged by NXP Ownership” reports.

·        Freescale announced a commitment to support the US military sector in 2013.

·        The company emphasized its status as the only US-based supplier of Si LDMOS (silicon laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductor) technology with manufacturing in the US, supplemented with a range of new GaN (gallium nitride) RF power transistor products.

·        NXP’s acquisition of Freescale emphasizes the growth potential that will come from connectivity across the broader automotive, wireless communications and digital consumer segments.

Our analysis forecasts a substantial opportunity for semiconductor technologies coming from spending on defense systems that will approach $140 billion by 2023. Demand from North America will account for 32% of defense system spending at this time.

Freescale had made a reasonable start towards carving out a position in the defense sector with an emphasis on establishing a dedicated portfolio. The combined company’s ability to compete in the US military sector will now remain limited unless NXP plans to position the Freescale and NXP high power RF defense offerings as part of a US subsidiary or spin out and sell the operations outright. This does seem to be the way things are progressing according to speculation so it will be interesting to see how this new high power RF company will fit into the future defense semiconductor supply landscape.

Strategy Analytics clients can read the full reports which are also available for standalone purchase.

Learn more about our thoughts on the defense market opportunities for semiconductor technologies at CS International in Germany next week where I will be presenting during the RF Electronics session on “The future for GaN, SiC, InP and GaAs in defence/military applications”.


Freescale's US DoD Ambitions will be Challenged by NXP Ownership
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