Maxim goes on a diet

February 19, 2016 // By Stephan Ohr
The analog power-house faces a paradox: trim down to appeal to investors while continuing to invest in industry-leading products.

Maxim Integrated will continue to focus on power management IC markets where the company already has considerable strengths, said Tunç Doluca, the company’s president and CEO, at an investor’s meeting (February 10). These power-intensive markets include automotive and industrial electronics, data center power management, mobile electronics and wearables.

But penetrating these markets may be hampered by cutbacks in R&D spending, and the disarming of potentially useful analog fabrication facilities. With the IC industry currently in the process of consolidation, both size and incumbency are enablers for continued growth. The company must polish its balance sheet if wants to attract investors.

Maxim is targeting the right markets, insisted Doluca. Maxim’s revenues in automotive electronics, data centers, and industrial power grew 18% per year from 2012 to 2015. Maxim’s revenue in the automotive power sector grew 43% per year in the same period. Continued growth in these markets is most almost a certainty, the company suggested.

What Maxim brings to the party is enviable strength in power management ICs: voltage regulators, AC-to-DC converters, DC-to-DC converters among standard analog building blocks; multi-function PMICs among the custom analog components. Maxim is currently the third largest analog IC supplier, behind Texas Instruments and Analog Devices, and number two in the standard power management market behind Texas Instruments. To continue to succeed in growing its revenues, the Company will need to identify specific analog circuits demanded in each market, engineer them with competitive feature sets, and manufacture them efficiently.

$100 per car

Automotive electronics, for example, is now 17 percent of company’s revenue. Looking forward, Maxim sees a 9 percent CAGR from 2015 to 2018; a revenue opportunity of up to $100 per car. The specific part types in demand include battery management devices (for the multi-cell lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles), serial links (for data-laden automotive buses), external LED lighting drivers (for head lamps and tail lamps) and power distribution circuits. Serial link supports


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