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6 January, 2015 - 11:41 By Tony Quested

Silicon Valley buyer has major plans for CamSemi

CamSemi-logo

CamSemi’s move into the LED lighting technology arena was the catalyst for its January 1 acquisition by Silicon Valley powerhouse, Power Integrations Inc – exclusively revealed by Business Weekly.

We can now disclose that the American parent has major plans for its new baby – and the new enterprise will be nurtured in the Cambridge, UK technology cluster.

Power Integrations is keeping its powder dry on specific plans for CamSemi but I understand it is likely to expand the Cambridge operations without necessarily increasing headcount.

Certainly it has no plans to dilute its Cambridge engineering talent pool.

Peter Rogerson, worldwide director MarCom and ACS at Power Integrations, gave a hint of what the future might hold for CamSemi as a European research hothouse for the group’s broadening foray into the lucrative world of LEDs.

In a statement prepared for Business Weekly he said: “We acquired Cambridge Semiconductor primarily for its excellent engineering talent and we intend to maintain the Cambridge presence as a strategic R & D centre.

“The operations function located in Hong Kong will transition to our Singapore location. We do not have any hiring plans to discuss at this point in time but any openings that do arise will be posted to our website, www.power.com

Power Integrations, Inc. supplies high-performance electronic components used in high-voltage power-conversion systems. No financial details for the CamSemi deal are being disclosed.

University of Cambridge spin-out, CamSemi is a fabless power management IC company. It helps customers find more ‘cost-efficient’ ways to design and manufacture energy-efficient power conversion products. It has operations in Cambridge UK, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea.

The company was spun out of Cambridge University in August 2000 with seed capital from the Cambridge University Challenge Fund, out of research conducted by Professor Gehan Amarantunga and his team in the engineering department.

Two years into its life, CamSemi raised $6.1 million in a Series A funding round led by 3i. The company raised a further $34m in 2008.

CEO David Baillie ended his 10 year tenure as CEO of the company in August 2014 having transformed its fortunes.

Significantly in terms of this acquisition CamSemi launched its C3120 family of LED driver ICs and its intention to become a major player in one of the fastest-growing sectors of the lighting market.

The new family has been specifically designed to drive an advanced boost/flyback topology t odeliver the three essential performance requirements for volume LED applications – ‘best inclass’ current regulation, high efficiency and power factor correction.

For its part, Power Integrations, Inc components drive a vast range of electronic products including mobile devices, TVs, PCs, appliances, smart utility meters and LED lights. It is the synergy with CamSemi LED ICs that really attracted the interest of the Americans.

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