It’s not often that a small private firm acquires a part of a larger public firm, but that’s what happened today with Atmel and Adesto. Adesto, a manufacturer of alternative memory technology, has purchased Atmel’s serial NOR flash business for an undisclosed sum.
The transaction covers the Atmel “Data Flash” and “BIOS Flash” product families and the employees supporting those products. Atmel has retained its Serial EEPROM, Crypto and Digital Temperature Sensor memory product lines and plans to continue to invest in those businesses.
This is not a small thing. Serial NOR now accounts for roughly one third of the entire $3.7 billion NOR flash business. Atmel has been an important participant in this market for the past ten years.
This appears to be a very good move for both firms: Atmel will sharpen its focus on the microcontroller and touch technology solutions markets, where it does best, and Adesto gains an established and profitable business, complete with design, manufacturing, sales, and even a patent portfolio to help it create a market for its novel “Conductive Bridging RAM” (CBRAM) technology, which started shipping this year. Adesto says CBRAM is attractive to makers of embedded SOCs since it costs less and consumes less power than flash. It has also been shown to scale to 12nm and could go farther than that.
This action appears to be a good move for both parties. Those who would like a little clearer understanding of the transaction can read this question/answer page on the Adesto website.