Quicklogic Corp  (QUIK)
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Quicklogic Corp

Business Description

QuickLogic Corporation was founded in 1988 and reincorporated in Delaware in 1999. Our vision is to transform the way people and devices interact with each other and their surroundings. Our mission is to provide innovative platforms to successfully enable our customers to develop products that fundamentally change the end-user experience. Specifically, we are a fabless semiconductor company that develops low power System on Chip, or SoCs, Field Programmable Gate Arrays, or FPGAs and embedded FPGA intellectual property. QuickLogic’s products enable smartphone, wearable, hearable, tablet and Internet-of-Things or IoT device Original Equipment Manufacturers, or OEMs, to deliver highly differentiated, immersive user experiences and long battery life for their customers.

Our solutions are created from our new silicon platforms including its EOS™, ArcticLink® III, PolarPro®3, PolarPro II, PolarPro, and Eclipse II products (which together comprise our new product category). Our mature products include primarily pASIC®3 and QuickRAM® as well as programming hardware and design software. In addition to delivering our own semiconductor solutions, we have an IP business that licenses our embedded Field Programmable Gate Arrays or
eFPGA technology for use in other semiconductor companies SoCs. We began delivering our eFPGA intellectual property or IP product ArcticPro™ in 2017.

Our solutions typically fall into one of three categories: Sensor Processing, Display and Visual Enhancement, and Smart Connectivity. Our solutions include a unique combination of our silicon platforms, intellectual property cores, software drivers, and in some cases, firmware, and application software. All of our silicon platforms are standard devices and must be programmed to be effective in a system. Our intellectual property that enables always-on context-aware sensor applications includes our Flexible Fusion Engine, our Sensor Manager and Communications Manager technologies as well as IP that (i) improves multimedia content, such as our Visual Enhancement Engine, or VEE, technology, and Display Power Optimizer, or DPO, technology; and (ii) implements commonly used mobile system interfaces, such as Low Voltage Differential Signaling, or LVDS, Mobile Industry Processor Interface, or MIPI, and Secure Digital Input Output, or SDIO. We provide complete solutions by first architecting the solution jointly with our customers or ecosystem partner’s engineering group, selecting the appropriate solution platform and Proven System Blocks or PSBs, providing custom logic, integrating the logic, programming the device with the PSBs and/or firmware, providing software drivers or application software required for the customers application, and supporting the customer on-site during integration, verification and testing. In many cases, we may deliver software algorithms that have been optimized for use in a QuickLogic silicon platform.

We also work with mobile processor manufacturers, sensor manufacturers, and/or voice recognition, sensor fusion and context awareness algorithm developers in the development of reference designs, Qualified Vendor Lists, or QVLs, or “Catalog” solutions. Through reference designs that incorporate our solutions, we believe mobile processor manufacturers, sensor manufacturers, and sensor and voice algorithm companies can expand the served available market for their respective products. Furthermore, should a solution development for a processor manufacturer or sensor and/or sensor algorithm company be applicable to a set of common OEMs or Original Design Manufacturers or ODMs, we can amortize our Research and Development, or R&D, investment over that set of OEMs or ODMs. We call this type of solution a Catalog solution and we are placing a greater emphasis on developing and marketing these types of solutions.

We have changed our manufacturing strategies to reduce the cost of our silicon solution platforms to enable their use in high volume, mass customization products. Our PolarPro 3E, PolarPro II and PolarPro solution platforms include an innovative logic cell architecture, which enables us to deliver twice the programmable logic in the same die size. Our EOS S3 and ArcticLink 3 silicon platforms combine mixed signal physical functions and hard-wired logic alongside programmable logic. Our EOS S3 and ArcticLink III solution platforms are manufactured on an advanced process node where we can benefit from smaller die sizes. We typically implement sophisticated logic blocks and mixed signal functions in hard-wired logic because it is very cost-effective and energy efficient. We use small form factor packages, which are less expensive to manufacture and include smaller pin counts. Reduced pin counts result in lower costs for our customers printed circuit board space and routing. In addition, we have dramatically reduced the time we require to program and test our devices, which has reduced our costs and lowered the capital equipment required to program and test our devices. Furthermore, our SRAM reprogrammable silicon platforms can be programmed in-system by our customers, and therefore we do not incur programming cost, lowering the overall cost of ownership to our customers. We expect to continue to invest in silicon solution platforms and manufacturing technologies that make us cost and power consumption effective for high-volume, battery-powered applications.

We market our solutions primarily to mobile device OEMs and ODMs. We have complete solutions incorporating our EOS S3, ArcticLink III S2, ArcticLink III VX and BX, PolarPro 3, PolarPro II, PolarPro, and Eclipse II solution platforms, packaging, IPs, custom logic, software drivers and our architecture consulting. We partner with target customers in our focus markets to architect and design solutions and to integrate and test our solutions in our customers products. A solution can be based on our programmable technology, which enables customized designs, low power, flexibility, rapid time-to-market, longer time-in-market and lower total cost of ownership. From a mobile system designers perspective, a solutions function is known and complete, and consequently can be designed into systems with a minimum amount of effort and risk. We are capable of providing complete solutions because of our investment in developing the low power IP and software required to implement specific functions, along with sensor software algorithms optimized for our architecture. Because we are involved with our customers at the definition stage of their products, we are able to architect solutions that typically have more than one IP, absorbing more functionality traditionally implemented with multiple ASSPs. In cases where our solution has multiple IPs, significant system performance or battery life improvements can be realized by enabling direct data transfers between the IPs, or by offloading more processing tasks from the host processor to our solution. In some cases, we develop the IPs and either software or firmware ourselves and, in other cases, we utilize third parties to develop the mixed signal physical layers, logic and/or software.

We market our solutions to OEMs and ODMs offering differentiated mobile products, to processor vendors wishing to expand their served available market, and to sensor manufacturers wishing to expand their ecosystems. Our target mobile markets include Tablets, Wearables, Hearables, Smartphones and IoT. Our solutions typically fall into one of three categories: Sensor Processing, Display and Visual Enhancement, or Smart Connectivity.

Our new products are also being used in applications in our traditional markets, such as data communications, instrumentation and test and military-aerospace, where customers value the low power consumption, instant-on, IP security, reliability and fast time-to-market of our products.

The fact that we use our programmable technology to customize these solutions provides two advantages over conventional ASSPs that are based on ASIC technology. Foremost is the fact that our solutions can be tailored for a specific customers requirements. Once we have developed IPs, it is easy to combine IPs with a platforms fixed logic and utilize the remaining programmable logic to provide a unique set of features to a mobile system designer, or to add other functions to the solution, such as Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter, or UARTs, keyboard scanning functions, Serial Peripheral Interface, or SPI, ports, which minimizes system size and cost, and InfraRed Data Association, or IRDA. We are able to develop these solutions from a common solution platform, and partner with system designers to implement a range of solutions, or products, that address different geographic and market requirements. By using programmable technology instead of ASIC technology, we reduce the development time, development risk and total cost of ownership and are able to bring solutions to market far more quickly than other custom silicon alternatives.

By using our silicon platforms, our IPs, our software, and our in-depth architecture knowledge, we can deliver energy efficient custom solutions that blend the benefits of traditional ASSPs with the flexibility, product proliferation, differentiation and low total cost of ownership advantages of programmable logic.

Our product technology consists of five major elements:

First, our programmable logic allows us to hardware customize our platforms. We have two distinct types of programmable logic. We have an SRAM-reprogrammable logic architecture that utilizes a standard CMOS-logic process to meet the specific needs of the sensor and I/O subsystems of mobile devices: very low standby power, low dynamic power, and in-system reprogrammable technology. Our SRAM-reprogrammable logic is the basis of our ArcticPro eFPGA IP Licensing initiative.

We also have our ViaLink programmable logic that uses proprietary and patented technology to meet the specific smart connectivity needs of the Radio Frequency, Memory and Display subsystems of mobile products: non-volatility and instant-on, very low standby power, low dynamic power, small form factor, single chip solutions that power cycle easily and quickly. Hardware customization gives our devices the ability to execute key actions faster than software implementations, and at lower power.

Second, our ArcticLink and EOS S3 solution platforms combine mixed signal physical functions, hard-wired logic and programmable logic on one device. Mixed signal capability supports the trend toward serial connectivity in mobile applications, where designers benefit from lower pin counts, simplified printed circuit board, or PCB, layouts, simplified PCB interconnect and reduced signal noise. Adding hard-wired intellectual property enables us to deliver more logic at lower cost and lower power while the programmable logic allows us to provide solutions that can be rapidly customized to differentiate products, add features and reduce system development costs. This combination of mixed signal, hard-wired logic and programmable logic enables us to deliver low cost, small form factor solutions that can be customized for particular customer or market requirements while lowering the total cost of ownership.

Third, we develop and integrate innovative IP cores, intelligent data processing IP cores, or standard interfaces used in mobile products. We offer:

Sensor Processing IPs such as Flexible Fusion Engine, or FFE, Sensor Manager, or Communications Manager;

Display and Visual Enhancement s such as VEE, DPO or LCD controller interfaces, LVDS and MIPI;

Network IPs such as high speed Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitters, or UARTs, to enable connectivity to Bluetooth devices;

Storage IPs such as Secure Digital High Capacity, or SDHC; and

Other IPs such as I2S, PCM, I2C, IRDA, PWM, and other general purpose interfaces.

Fourth, we develop and optimize a software framework for use in conjunction with our sensor processing silicon platforms.

Fifth, our unique customer engagement model enables us to develop complete solutions for target customers who wish to bring differentiated, mobile products to market quickly and cost-effectively. We partner with customers to define solutions specific to their requirements, and combine all of the above technologies using one of our solution platforms, proven logic IP cores, custom FPGA logic, software drivers, firmware and application software. We then work with these customers to integrate and test solutions in their systems. The benefit of providing complete solutions is that we effectively become a virtual extension of our customers engineering organization.

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