cens logo

MediaTek of Taiwan Rumored to Merge IC Designer Nvidia of U.S.

Jul 06, 2015 | By Quincy Liang

Market rumors being reported in media say that MediaTek Inc. of Taiwan, recognized as the largest cellphone chipset supplier in Asia, may merge leading graphic IC design company Nvidia Corp. of the U.S. to jointly tap the lucrative automotive application market, on which MeidaTek has declined to comment.

Some institutional investors say that the telematics infrastructure makes essential the AP (application processor), graphic processing unit (GPU) and data-transmission via WiFi etc., for which chipsets and IC design services are also necessary. The merger, which is practicable, they say, would help achieve synergy between MediaTek and Nvidia.

The rapidly expanding automotive semiconductor market continues to draw more players onboard to also result in  increasing number of mergers. (photo from Nvidia)The rapidly expanding automotive semiconductor market continues to draw more players onboard to also result in increasing number of mergers. (photo from Nvidia)

There have been several deals in the global semiconductor industry since early this year, including NXP's acquisition of Freescale for US$17 billion, Avago's merger with Broadcom for US$37 billion (in cash and share swap) in May, and Intel's acquisition of Altera for US$16.7 billion in June. Amid such trend of mergers and acquisitions, other big companies are reportedly mulling similar projects, including Atmel (maker of touch control chipsets), Lattice (field programmable gate arrays, orFPGA), Marvell (storage chipsets) etc., with Lattice having even explicitly stated itself being an ideal partner for Qualcomm and MediaTek, which could have triggered market rumors regarding the possible merger between MediaTek and Nvidia.

While some institutional investors say that MediaTek has become the largest cellphone chipset supplier in Asia, coupled with the smartphone market having entered the so-called plateau stage, the Taiwanese IC company is targeting the next-stage goal, the Internet of Things (IoT), for future business development. The IoT market's automotive applications are generally deemed a very lucrative segment with sizable potential for capable players.

Though MediaTek already owns the Chinese subsidiary Autochips Inc. that focuses on automotive-application ICs, institutional investors say that mergers or acquisitions would enable MediaTek to rapidly and effectively access the relatively exclusive automotive-application market, which typically put new players through extended certification process. Most Asian companies, the investors say, can only compete in the automotive aftermarket, rather than become key suppliers to international automakers.

Nvidia has successfully tapped into the automotive-application market in early 2015 by launching the Nvidia DRIVE car computer, which comprises different functions including navigation, infotainment, digital instrument cluster, driver monitoring etc., as well as the new-generation super chipset Tegra X1 for automotive applications.

Nvidia, in fact, has tied up with Taiwanese automotive-electronic companies to jointly develop business in the automotive market, having set up the Andia Automotive Alliance (AAA) that has showcased its first product--an integrated vehicle infotainment system platform to have attracted attention from global buyers and industry experts.

The AAA was founded in late-2014 by a group of international companies trying to create a global automotive-electronic brand for Taiwan. The alliance was initiated by Taiwan's AnTec Electric System Co., Ltd., which was acquired by Taiwan-based Hon Hai Group in 2015 to have become a major supplier of car computers. AnTec adopted an architecture developed by Nvidia to develop car computers, and the two parties then formed an strategic alliance to try to jointly draw the blueprint for the future development of Taiwan's automotive-electronic segment.

Just as mechanical mechanisms have shifted rapidly to electronic control systems, so have automotive IC shipments worldwide been rising for many years. Some market research firms forecast that by 2020, each new car will adopt about 1,000 IC chips onboard to logically make automotive applications the major goal for global IC companies. Smaller players, however, have to build know-how, strength and experiences in the lucrative segment, with the most efficient way being mergers and acquisitions.

The entire industry agree that the Advanced Driving Assistant System (ADAS) is a necessary development for modern vehicles, whose greatly increasing demand for data and information algorithms require numerous IC chips, with such trend drawing close attention from almost all major IC companies, including ARM, Intel, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, MediaTek, Nvidia etc.

At CES 2015, a leading consumer-electronics show held in Las Vegas early this year, numerous advanced automotive technologies were showcased by many global companies that literally changed the tone of the event to one akin to an auto-parts show, with the automotive-oriented theme also repeated at the 2015 MWC (World Mobile Congress) held in March in Barcelona, Spain.

Leading IC company Texas Instruments once pointed out that in 2000 a new car had less than 10 ICs onboard, but the number has jumped to more than 100 today, with Broadcom forecasting the figure to soar to some 1,000 by 2020.

Industry In-Focus

Photo credit: UDN

February manufacturing index breaks records in consecutive 25-month stretch

Mar 24, 2022

The Ministry of Economic Affairs said today that in February, the industrial production index was 117.49, with an annual increase of 10.01% due to easing supply chain disruptions and chip shortages. This marks the 25-month consecutive positive growth period, also the second-longest in history. The manufacturing index was 119.76, an annual increase of 10.16%, which set a new high for the same ...

Furniture industry to see lasting change in digitalized era</h2>

Furniture industry to see lasting change in digitalized era

Mar 18, 2022

If there's a keyword that can be used to summarize the past two years, it would be “digitalization.” Across different industries, companies and suppliers are seeking ways to tap into the post-COVID market, and the furniture sector is no different. Here are two trends we've identified that would and continue to shape the market in the coming year and more. Going Digital While the typical con...

Semiconductor chip. Photo source: UDN/Reuters

Domestic chip maker sees growing potential in 2022 auto market

Mar 17, 2022

Memory chip maker Mosel Vitelic Inc. is looking to expand business operations into the automotive market by increasing deliveries to 25% from 20% in 2021. Chairman Rebecca Tang and Vice General Manager Deng Chih-da were present at the investor's conference on Wednesday afternoon. Tang said the company enjoyed a steady growth last year due to the global chip shortage, rounding up total revenue ...

Industry Reports

C85690 forgeable lead-free dezincification resistant brass-made plumbing valve spool. (Forged product) Photo credit: MIRDC

Eco-friendly materials continue to trend amid global industry change

Mar 25, 2022

Industries are focusing on new technologies for better environmental sustainability and to promote the overall protection and safety of consumers. The same is trending in Taiwan's hardware and plumbing sector. Companies and consumers are becoming more and more aware of the long-term impact of pollutive materials on natural resources, and as policies and regulations are changed in other crucial ma...

Toyota's new energy vehicle model. Photo credit: UDN/Reuters

Auto brands and chip makers step up alliances in EV era

Mar 25, 2022

Japanese automotive brand Toyota's recent announcement of reducing production in March due to chip shortages is another setback for the company, as this would not be its first time scaling back capacity in the past two years. Earlier, Toyota had also announced that the chip shortages had slashed the group's production goals from April to June. However, Economic Daily News points out that Toyot...

ARTC and industry supplier representatives show the signed MOU, signifying the alliance's creation. (Photo courtesy of ARTC)

ARTC and Automotive Electronic Industry Reps Ink AI Imagery Chip and Smart Cockpit Alliance

Mar 18, 2022

Top automotive electronic suppliers and Taiwan's leading R&D center in autonomous technology and testing, Automotive Research and Testing Center (ARTC), collectively announced the formation of the “Automotive AI Imagery Chip and Smart Cockpit Display Module Industry Alliance" on March 18. Representatives from Elan Microelectronics, AU Optronics, Chimei Motor, China Motor, RAC Electric Vehicles...

Supplier News

Steel Mark well-recognized as reliable supplier of lock products</h2>

Steel Mark well-recognized as reliable supplier of lock products

Mar 25, 2022

Founded in 1981, Steel Mark is specialized in manufacturing locks and other related hardware. The company's product catalog includes padlocks, motorcycle and bike locks, deadbolt locks, digital door locks, door locks, rim and euro profile cylinders, and concerning hardware and parts. The company currently operates modern manufacturing facilities occupying 3,300 square meters with more than 40...


Wire Master's quest for quality and innovation puts them at industry top</h2>

Wire Master's quest for quality and innovation puts them at industry top

Mar 18, 2022

In the face of an ever-competitive global market and pressured by rising costs, Wire Master Industry believes the best chance of increasing its competitiveness is improving product quality and investing more into R&D. This allows Wire Master to be in a prime position to stake a good position in the market. Wire Master is looking to develop long-term partnerships with similar values and focus on p...


CM-667 children's chair in Pink. (Photo courtesy of Kuang Shin)

Designing Furniture for Children's Future

Mar 18, 2022

Since the founders' humble beginnings in the 1960s, traveling from his hometown in Chiayi County to urban Taipei City to learn a trade, he has dedicated the eventually-formed Kuang Shin Enterprise to providing quality products. Kuang Shin offers children's desks and chairs, computer chairs, furniture hardware, OA office chair and desks, connected chairs, display shelves, chair bases, and parts...


Insiders' Views

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Mar 04, 2021

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...


OmniEyes CEO and Co-Founder Chun-Ting Chou. (Photo courtesy of OmniEyes)

OmniEyes' AI Technology Paves the Way for Traditional Industries' Digital Transition

Dec 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the industries' timeline for implementing digital transformation. However, the how's and what's of applying new technologies and improving the added value to existing products and services can be daunting. Three professors from the National Taiwan University College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science founded the startup company "OmniEyes," basi...

Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...

Exhibition Highlights

Show grounds at the 2022 Smart City & IoT expo. Photo credit: UDN

Smart City & IoT expo kicks off showcasing energy solutions

Mar 23, 2022

The 2022 Smart City and IoT exhibition kicked off on March 22, featuring top Taiwanese brands showcasing related applications in the sector. It is worth noting that in addition to 5G-related extension and other mainstream smart city applications, energy storage has become a highlight at this show, notably, TECO, Far EasTone, and Gogoro all have offered relative solutions. According to statisti...

2022 Smart City Summit & Expo to kick off on Tuesday</h2>

2022 Smart City Summit & Expo to kick off on Tuesday

Mar 21, 2022

With the 2022 Smart City Summit & Expo scheduled to kick off on Tuesday at the Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 2 from March 22 to March 25, and Kaohsiung Exhibition Center from March 24 to 26, exhibitors are quickly rolling out new products for this year, including TECO Group. In the past few years, TECO has exhibited at the show exhibiting the group's subsidiaries, concentrating on AI, IoT, n...

TIMTOSxTMTS 2022 kicks off on Monday's opening ceremony. Photo credit: Chao Ting Yu/CENS

TIMTOSxTMTS 20222 Mega Show kicks off at Nangang with 950-strong exhibitors

Feb 22, 2022

TIMTOS x TMTS 2022, the first international trade show and the first of its kind on the calendar, kicked off this Monday, with Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) Chairman Larry Wei pointing out that business orders generated from the mega show are expected to hit USD$$1.7 billion (NTD$47 billion). President Tsai said that in the face of the impacts caused by the pandemic, as well ...