Acquisitions to enhance coverage -

Acquisitions to enhance coverage

Acquisitions will bring more Tear Downs and insight into semiconductors.

Embedded systems designers can now gain from the experience of their peers, thanks to an abundance of Tear Downs.

CMP, the company that owns this magazine,, and the Embedded Systems Conferences (along with lots of other publications and Web sites, including EE Times and TechOnline), recently made two acquisitions. Normally, I wouldn't mention events that occurred on the business side of the house in these pages. However, these two acquisitions could greatly affect the coverage that you'll see in these pages.

The two acquisitions are Semiconductor Insights ( and Portelligent ( If you're not familiar with one or both of these companies, let me shed some light on them.

The Portelligent acquisition was finalized in November. The company's claim to fame is doing Tear Downs. By doing that, they gain intelligence into the design of mobile, wireless, personal, and consumer electronics. With this information, designers can make faster, better, and more cost-effective decisions about their competitive positioning, technology options, investment strategy, intellectual property (IP) position, and marketplace opportunities. Portelligent was formed in 2000 as a spinoff of an Austin-based research consortium.

We've worked with the Portelligent team for years. You may have noticed that the company's Tear Downs have been appearing in our pages and on for some time now, as well as in EE Times and on TechOnline. You may also recognize the Portelligent name from the Prius Tear Downs we performed live at the Embedded Systems Conferences. The company had a big hand in that project.

The acquisition of Semiconductor Insights, which occurred last July, has a similar meaning to our group. Semiconductor Insights is also known for its Tear Downs, but they perform them at the IC level rather than at the system level. For example, the company was the first to tear apart and analyze Intel's latest microprocessor, the Penryn 45-nm device.

Semiconductor Insights also serves as a global IP and patent technical advisor. They have the ability to perform technical investigations of patents, ICs, and electronic systems. One division of the company benchmarks competing devices, improves time to market, and solves technical problems, while a second division helps technology companies and legal professionals evaluate, develop, and monetize their IP.

Together, the two companies will offer a combined searchable database of over 40,000 components and ICs, which is an invaluable resource for designers.

Richard Nass is editor in chief of Embedded Systems Design magazine. He can be reached at .

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