FGPA firm to go public in SPAC deal

January 08, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
FPGA firm Achronix to go public via SPAC
FPGA designer Achronix Semiconductor is to go public in a $2.1bn reverse merger

With the sale of Altera to Intel and Xilinx to AMD, Santa Clara-based Achronix becomes the leading independent FPGA vendor and embedded FPGA intellectual property licensor. Achronix addresses the data acceleration market, which is growing strongly.

The vehicle that will take Achronix public is ACE Convergence Acquisition Corp., which was founded and joined Nasdaq in 2020. The Cayman Islands registered company is led by CEO and chairman by Behrooz Abdi, formerly head of the MEMS division of TDK and before that CEO of MEMS vendor InvenSense Corp.

Achronix and ACE have agreed a deal that would see the combined entity named Achronix Semiconductor Corp. listed under the ticker symbol ACHX with a combined enterprise value of US$2.1 billion.

Details on how the executive management would be configured post-merger haven't been confirmed but unlike takeovers, SPAC deals typically leave the management in place.

Achronix was founded in New York in 2004 having licensed patents from Cornell University. In 2008 Achronix announced FPGAs that operate at clock frequencies up to 1.5-GHz and then became Intel's foundry customer in 2010. The company partnered with foundry TSMC in 2016 and also started offering its IP for license.

"To date, this licensing business with TSMC has shipped 10 million cores, while our chip business has secured over $400 million in production orders," said John Lofton Holt, the founder and chairman of Achronix, in a conference call to announce the deal with ACE.

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