20 March 2017
Peregrine acquires MIT spin-off Arctic Sand
Peregrine Semiconductor Corp of San Diego, CA, USA – a fabless provider of radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) based on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) – has acquired Arctic Sand Technologies of Burlington, MA, USA.
Founded to bring power conversion semiconductors to market based on technology developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Arctic Sand designs and manufactures low-power semiconductors for use in DC-DC power conversion. The firm has product design centers in Burlington, MA and Santa Clara, CA, as well as sales/customer support offices in Silicon Valley and Taiwan.
Peregrine was acquired in December 2014 by Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd, which designs and manufactures ceramic-based passive electronic components & solutions, communication modules and power supply modules. The strategic acquisition of Arctic Sand is intended to accelerate Murata’s aim to revolutionize power electronics with the smallest, most efficient power solutions.
“Peregrine and Murata gain Arctic Sand’s disruptive technology, strong IP portfolio and world-class team,” says Jim Cable, chairman & chief technology officer of Peregrine and global R&D director at Murata Manufacturing. “We’re building the power integrated circuit (IC) ‘dream team’. We will now leverage Peregrine’s semiconductor expertise to accelerate the adoption of Arctic Sand’s technology and their ability to ship in volume,” he adds. “With this acquisition, we’re one step closer to dramatically smaller, lighter, faster and more efficient power solutions.”
Arctic Sand’s low-power semiconductors will be added to Murata’s existing product lineup in order to enhance and expand its power module business in not just the telecoms market but also the datacoms and industrial electrical markets. Further, Murata aims to accelerate Arctic Sand’s existing business targeting applications in mobile computing, smartphones and LCD display panels. The start-up will continue to develop high-efficiency power conversion ICs and now gains Peregrine’s SOI semiconductor expertise and Murata’s inductors, capacitors and packaging.
“Bringing together Arctic Sand’s low-power semiconductor technologies and Murata’s technologies will allow us to lead the way in providing products that satisfy the needs of customers in growing markets where there is demand for small footprints, low profiles and power savings,” says Norio Nakajima, executive VP, Communication & Sensor business unit/Energy business unit, Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd.
Arctic Sand’s technology delivers power conversion efficiency so that platforms for a variety of applications can be made thinner. In certain applications, its technology reduces the space occupied by power components by 50%, reduces the height of component by 3x, reduces losses in power management by up to one half, and increases platform run time by more than 1 hour. Combining this technology with Murata’s modular technologies will make it possible to provide solutions with high integration and excellent conversion efficiency in a wide range of low-power fields, it is reckoned. Demand for these technologies is expected to grow even further as electrical and electronic components become smaller and thinner.
Peregrine originally identified Arctic Sand’s technology as a key component for the development of disruptive power management solutions. Since it became a Murata company in December 2014, Peregrine has added a power electronics design team with focused efforts on fast-switching active devices and innovative circuit design. With design centers in London, UK and San Diego, CA, USA, Peregrine’s power IC team will integrate and collaborate with Arctic Sand’s teams in Boston and Silicon Valley.
“This highly synergistic acquisition will enable Arctic Sand’s disruptive technology to gain widespread market traction,” believes Arctic Sand’s CEO Gary Davison. “With the added strengths of Murata and Peregrine, we can bring game-changing innovation to a power electronics market that desperately needs it.”