If the markets we serve continue to consolidate I may have
to go to work for a living—gack! What company would have me? I’m old, cranky,
have an inflated opinion of my worth, and I’m hard to manage—hmmm, except for
the old part, I guess I’m like most folks in SiVal.
In the last 12 months we’ve watched our four markets (PC,
Handhelds, Workstations, CE) shrink in the number of suppliers.
In the PC graphics sector we’ve watched 3Dlabs shut down and
the stragglers join Nvidia, and XGI be split up with parts of it going to ATI
We saw the workstation and big-iron graphics space move
E&S’s simulation group to Rockwell Collins, SGI file for bankruptcy, Sun
stop shining, and IBM all but run out of the workstation space.
We went from eight or nine, depending on how you counted,
CPU manufacturers to four (AMD, IBM, Intel, and VIA).
Handheld suppliers like Bitboys have been swallowed up by
ATI, Alpha-Mosaic has been assimilated by Broadcom, Atsana got gobbled up by
Mtekvision, and two others are in process that we can’t tell you about yet.
Are there any game companies left besides EA and UbiSoft?
Yves Gullemot says he doesn’t think the consolidation is over yet.
And then you get the rumors. Sony is buying Nvidia, Nvidia
is buying AMD, Intel is buying ATI, Toshiba is buying ARC, JPR is buying IDC,
will it ever stop?
Market consolidation is natural; look at any other industry.
It wasn’t too long ago that there were over 100 car manufacturers, and today
there are fewer than 30 (depending on how you count).
We live and work in a relatively new industry. Our
consolidations are just happening, and more are coming.
But, new companies always spring up. Cost of entry can be
mitigated by producing a niche product, like an electric car, or a specialized
processor. There isn’t any lack of imagination, and the consolidation actually
So consolidation may feel bad, and it certainly hurts some
who are made redundant, while making others rich who get to sell their shares,
but overall it’s good for the industry, at least an innovative industry like
this one that has more imaginative engineer entrepreneurs per square hector
than anyplace (although Taiwan would be a big challenger for the title).