23 June 2022
Sivers completes integration of MixComm
Sivers Semiconductors AB of Kista, Sweden (which supplies chips and integrated modules) has completed the integration of fabless semiconductor company MixComm Inc of Chatham, NJ, USA (which also has design centers in Oregon and California), creating a global provider in 5G, SATCOM and radar. Along with broadening Sivers’ portfolio and increasing its presence in the USA, the integration entails synergies of about SEK10m per year. Sivers writes down intangible assets of about SEK22m due to overlapping product development areas. The firm is also introducing a new role in the USA, making former MixComm CEO Mike Noonen its US president.
Sivers has found large synergies in development tools and some personnel, yielding a total saving of about SEK10m per year (compared with if MixComm and Sivers had been two autonomous units). At the end of first-quarter 2022, Sivers had 137 staff, which includes personnel synergies.
Sivers Wireless has minimal product overlap with MixComm. However, there is a one product, a beam-forming IC (BFIC), that Sivers and MixComm had both independently developed, where Sivers has determined that MixComm’s BIFC is the most sophisticated solution. Sivers has therefore chosen to write down intangible assets of about SEK22m for the product that Sivers Wireless developed.
“MixComm’s key area has been BFICs, where MixComm founder Harish Krishnaswamy and his team had invested many years in optimizing technology at Columbia University with significant DARPA support,” notes Sivers Semiconductors’ CEO Anders Storm. “This technology is ‘state-of-the-art’, and the one we will continue to develop within BFIC and later also RFICs,” he adds.
As US president in the new organization, Noonen will focus on business development and sales for both Sivers Wireless and Photonics. During a transition period, he will also be managing director (MD) of Sivers Wireless. Pelle Wijk will take on a new role as chief operating officer (COO) of Sivers Wireless. Patric Erlandsson, former VP sales of Sivers Wireless, becomes senior VP marketing for the parent company Sivers Semiconductors.
Sivers Wireless will be divided into two different development units, one in the USA which will be run by MixComm’s co-founder & former chief technology officer Dr Harish Krishnaswamy, and one in the EU which will be run by Magnus Sneitz, previously head of the Project Management Office (PMO) at Sivers Wireless.
“With MixComm now fully integrated, we now have a much stronger presence in the US, and I am very happy that Mike Noonen is taking on this new role,” says Storm. “He has a network in the USA that is top tier and is very well known in the semiconductor industry," he adds.
MixComm was founded in 2017 based on more than 10 years of development at Columbia University led by Krishnaswamy through externally funded research projects totalling $94m. The firm is an active US participant in 5G BFIC (repeaters/base stations), SATCOM and radar verticals. Most employees hold a PhD and the company is the only mmWave company selected to join the 5G Open Innovation Lab founded by T-Mobile and Intel. The flagship beam-forming IC SUMMIT 2629 was the recipient of numerous ‘Best Products’ citations in 2020, including ‘The Broadband Innovation of the Year’ from the Mobile Breakthrough Awards. MixComm has established partnerships with minority investor GlobalFoundries for RF-SOI fabrication, packaging and test services, and with Richardson RFPD for distribution and logistics globally. Both the GlobalFoundries and Richardson RFPD collaborations will continue under the Sivers Wireless brand and be expanded to all products by the company.