Mdc Holdings Inc  (AQ)
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 Market Capitalization (Millions $) -
 Shares Outstanding (Millions) 65
 Employees 253
 Revenues (TTM) (Millions $) 4,604
 Net Income (TTM) (Millions $) 341
 Cash Flow (TTM) (Millions $) -46
 Capital Exp. (TTM) (Millions $) 27

Mdc Holdings Inc

We are a leader in the design, development and marketing of advanced high-speed communications integrated circuits, or ICs, for Ethernet connectivity in the data center, enterprise infrastructure and access markets. Our Ethernet solutions provide a critical interface between the high-speed analog signals transported over wired infrastructure and the digital information used in computing and networking equipment. Our products are designed to cost-effectively deliver leading-edge data speeds for use in the latest generation of communications infrastructure to alleviate network bandwidth bottlenecks caused by the exponential growth of global Internet Protocol, or IP, traffic. Many of our semiconductor solutions have established benchmarks in the industry in terms of performance, power consumption and density. Our innovative solutions enable our customers to differentiate their product offerings, position themselves to gain market share and drive the ongoing equipment infrastructure upgrade cycles in the data center, enterprise infrastructure and access markets.

Ethernet is a ubiquitous and evolving standard of network connectivity that is characterized by its reliability and backward compatibility, which enables easy upgrades and continuity of operation through upgrade cycles. One Gigabit Ethernet, or 1GbE, has been deployed as a mainstream wired connectivity standard for over a decade. However, 1GbE is increasingly insufficient to meet the bandwidth requirements that can accommodate the exponential growth of global IP traffic. As a result, the 1GbE infrastructure is currently undergoing an upgrade cycle that is driven by the need to alleviate bandwidth bottlenecks on the wired side of networking equipment, including the data center (servers and switches), the enterprise infrastructure (wireless access points, or APs, and switches), and the access (client connectivity for personal computers, or PCs, and carrier access) markets. Based on projections by Crehan Research, Inc., or Crehan Research, 650 Group LLC, or, 650 Group, IDC and Dell’oro Group, Inc., or Dell’oro, we estimate that across these markets, over one billion Ethernet ports will ship in 2017 and growing to 1.2 billion ports in 2020, representing a substantial opportunity for upgrade of the Ethernet physical layer, or PHY. Historically, the transition to the next Ethernet generation has been led by the introduction of IC solutions that reliably and cost-effectively meet the new Ethernet standard. We believe that the current upgrade cycle will follow the same course. In addition, we believe another new opportunity for Ethernet is emerging in the automotive market, as a result of increased investment in the development of autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars.

As the data rate of PHY devices continues to increase, the technical challenges of designing high-speed communications ICs require a significantly new architectural approach. In order to meet next-generation performance requirements with low power consumption and a small footprint, our differentiated architecture combines our two fundamental innovations: Mixed-Mode Signal Processing, or MMSP, which partitions signal processing across analog and digital domains, and Multi-Core Signal Processing, or MCSP, which incorporates multiple customized units to more efficiently process digital signals. We also implement patented techniques in Analog Front-End, or AFE, algorithms, power management and programmability in the design of our products. Our next-generation Ethernet solutions have been developed by one of the most innovative design teams in the semiconductor industry, with deep expertise across multiple disciplines that range from analog and mixed-mode design to digital signal processing and communication theory. We have leveraged the expertise of our design team to achieve technological breakthroughs and bring what we believe to be best-in-class semiconductor solutions to market, anticipating the future technological needs of our customers and helping them shape their product roadmaps. Our best-in-class semiconductor solutions provide the functionalities that meet customers’ requirements, as well as the relevant Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, standard.

Exponential Growth of Global IP Traffic

Demands on global networking infrastructure are being driven by the exponential growth of data from video, social networking and advanced collaboration applications.

Transition to 10 Gigabit Ethernet

Since its inception more than 40 years ago, Ethernet has grown into a global, widely-deployed communications protocol. More specifically, copper Ethernet cables and the associated Ethernet connector, have permeated the vast majority of Internet networks, including data center, enterprise, campus, small and medium-sized business, small-office and home-office (SOHO) and the home. We believe that each transition to higher speeds has enabled the semiconductor company that has been at the forefront of the technological transformation in each upgrade cycle to significantly scale its operations: from National Semiconductor Corporation in the early 1990s, with the transition to 10 Megabit Ethernet, or 10MbE; to Broadcom Corporation in the mid-1990s, with the transition to 100MbE; and to Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. in the early 2000s, with the transition to 1GbE. We believe a similar opportunity now exists with the transition to 10GbE and beyond in the data centers, enterprise infrastructure, access and automotive markets.

In the early 2000s, the transition from 100MbE to 1GbE was driven by the availability of the technology as a local-area network, or LAN, on motherboard, or LOM, solution for PC applications. A LOM solution allowed every PC manufacturer to offer a 1GbE port on desktops and laptops, which led to a very rapid transition to 1GbE in the entire networking ecosystem. Today, the 1GbE technology has reached broader markets beyond the traditional networking industry, extending into a wide variety of new applications and markets, including home and automotive networking, security camera, signage and smart television connectivity, and high-density wireless environments, such as stadiums and airports. Gigabit Ethernet has now been deployed as a mainstream wired connectivity standard for over a decade and is currently undergoing an upgrade cycle that is driven by the need to alleviate bandwidth bottlenecks on the wired side of networking equipment, including the data center and the enterprise.

Ethernet Connectivity Solutions

In order to connect Ethernet networking equipment, such as servers, switches, storage appliances or routers, network engineers have generally used either optical-based glass or plastic fiber cabling or electrical-based copper cabling. Optical interconnect solutions involve the combination of electronics with optical components, such as optical transmitters, optical receivers, optical couplings, packaging and optical fibers. As a result, optical solutions generally have higher relative cost of materials compared to electrical interconnect solutions. Due to the extremely low absorption loss of optical fibers, optical signals can be sent through fiber over very long distances, which are typically hundreds of kilometers or more, making the higher cost of optical solutions a less significant concern for long-reach interconnects. However, for shorter distances within data centers, which are typically less than 100 meters, optical interconnect solutions can be cost-prohibitive. As a result, optical solutions are typically only used in data centers when a comparable electrical solution has not been developed or the distance is too great for the electrical solution to cover.

Electrical interconnect solutions involve the combination of only a silicon-based IC, a connector and a copper cable. The most prevalent copper interconnect is based on twisted-pair copper cables, also commonly known as Ethernet cables. These cables are relatively inexpensive, but present a number of technical challenges due to significant impairments suffered by the signal as it is transmitted, such as attenuation, crosstalk and echo. As transmission speeds continue to increase to keep up with the exponential growth of global IP traffic, the amount of processing required to be performed in the silicon layer to address these transmission impairments increases correspondingly, leading to greater design complexity and higher power consumption. In recent years, advancements in lithography and manufacturing process technologies have allowed for significantly reduced transistor geometries, resulting in considerably lower power consumption per IC and a greater level of integration. These advancements, as well as additional innovations in the area of digital signal processing, have enabled the use of copper cabling for high-speed data transmission.

The Data Center Market

Data centers can be categorized as corporate data centers and cloud, or hyperscale, data centers. For both corporate and hyperscale data centers, servers and switches are the two main components of the data center architecture. Traditionally, servers have been located in vertical racks placed side by side in long rows of equipment. Server ports are connected to Ethernet switches, which have the function of directing the traffic to either an upper layer of aggregation (typical of the older client server North-South traffic model) or to other server nodes (typical of the increasing server-to-server East-West traffic model). In the North-South model, traffic flows down to the lower levels for routing services and then back up to reach its destination. In the East-West model, traffic flows are spread across multiple server nodes, requiring hosts to traverse network interconnection points. In either case, the connectivity between the server and the switch ports in a data center is rather short, typically just a few meters, and at most 100 meters. In contrast, the connectivity between switches in the next layers can be quite long depending on the overall topology. As more data is consolidated and processed in data centers, the need for higher performance server nodes has been met with constant innovation in both processor computing power and increased use of server virtualization, both resulting in an increased demand for higher bandwidth connectivity in servers. According to Crehan Research, approximately 80% of all connections currently are between switches and servers (the two main components of data center architecture), and 80% of those connections are electrical, resulting in electrical interconnect solutions accounting for more than 60% of data center connections.

Corporate Data Centers

Corporate data centers are very cost sensitive and, as a result, have historically made use of Ethernet cabling. Crehan Research estimates that, in 2016, 65% of all server-class Ethernet networking connections shipped were 1GbE connections, 90% of which were 1000BASE-T. We believe that this significant penetration of 1GbE over twisted-pair copper cabling is directly correlated with the preference by corporate IT managers for this medium. In networking infrastructure, cost is a major driver for upgrade cycles and transitions to the newer interconnect technologies. Today, as the cost of 10GbE over twisted-pair copper cabling, or 10GBASE-T, is approaching twice that of 1000BASE-T, network engineers are transitioning their focus to purchasing equipment that supports the faster speed, allowing them to improve performance, increase work efficiency of their organizations and prepare their network for future improvements, which is driving the current upgrade cycle. Crehan Research projects that shipments of 10GBASE-T in data centers will reach 29 million ports in 2020, representing approximately 23% of all ports shipping to data centers that year and a CAGR of 27% from 2017 through 2020.

Cloud Data Centers (Hyperscale Data Centers)

In the case of cloud, or hyperscale, data centers, the processing and bandwidth requirements have traditionally been very demanding, with applications ranging from large-scale search engine implementation to high-performance computing for research and high-frequency trading and social media applications characterized by large number of embedded feeds, cross-referencing and videos. These architectures were the first to adopt 10GbE, and are now in various stages of transition towards 25GbE, 40GbE, 50GbE and in some cases 100GbE. These deployments leverage leading-edge technologies, and although they represent a minority of the data centers deployed today, they are expected to increase in importance in the future. Crehan Research projects that, out of a total of approximately 130 million ports shipping to data centers in 2020, shipment of 100GbE, together with 25GbE and 50GbE, will reach 47 million ports, representing approximately 37% of all ports shipping to data centers that year and a CAGR of 87% from 2017 through 2020.

The Enterprise Infrastructure Market

In the early 2000s, the enterprise infrastructure market experienced a very rapid transition from 100MbE to 1GbE. The adoption of 1GbE as the preferred connectivity between PCs and the Ethernet switches located in server rooms was facilitated by the ease of deployment of Ethernet cables in the ceilings and walls of the enterprise. Category 5e, or Cat5e, and Category 6, or Cat6, cables were, and continue to be, widely deployed, representing more than 90% of the worldwide base of cables installed between 2003 and 2014. In the past 10 years, the enterprise infrastructure market has also seen an increasing number of wireless LAN, or WLAN, APs being deployed throughout buildings, airports, shopping malls and stadiums, driven by the proliferation of smartphones, laptops and other portable devices. These APs generally connect through a 1GbE infrastructure to the wiring closet or campus Ethernet switch using the same Ethernet cabling infrastructure, and often the same switches, used by desktop PCs.

1GbE connections have historically been sufficient to carry the wireless traffic over the wired infrastructure due to the limited bandwidth of the WiFi standards 802.11 b/g/n and even the first wave of 802.11ac. However, WLAN AP manufacturers have commenced the deployment of the second wave of 802.11ac, which has throughput of up to about 5Gbps, followed recently by the new WiFi standard 802.11ax, with similar throughput requirements. As a result, for the first time in over a decade, IT managers are faced with the challenge of carrying these bandwidths in excess of 1GbE, or Multi-Gig, over legacy Ethernet infrastructure that is designed to only support 1Gbps. Network administrators have traditionally had three options when confronted with this bottleneck: (1) leave the legacy infrastructure in place and aggregate data traffic over more cables; (2) upgrade to data center-class Ethernet cables that support 10GBASE-T; or (3) upgrade to optical interconnect solutions. The first option presents scalability challenges. The latter two pose significant cost barriers and entail considerable disruption to the physical plan of any building or campus. As a result, there is a need in the enterprise infrastructure market for a scalable, lower-cost alternative to support this network upgrade cycle. 650 Group projects that shipments of 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T in the enterprise infrastructure market will reach 57 million ports in 2020, representing a CAGR of 112% from 2017 through 2020. 650 Group also estimates that in 2020, 385 million ports in enterprise and small- and medium-sized businesses still will be 1GbE, representing a significant opportunity for growth for Multi-Gig Ethernet.

The Access Market

The access market is composed of two sub-categories: client connectivity and carrier access.

Client connectivity —As Multi-Gig technology starts permeating the enterprise infrastructure as a PHY solution, replacing the legacy 1GbE connections on Ethernet switches, the need for PCs to adopt this Multi-Gig solution has emerged. Despite the trends towards lighter and thinner machines such as notebooks and laptops, IDC projects that PCs will continue to be equipped with Ethernet ports for the foreseeable future, estimating that 194 million PCs, or approximately 80% of the total market, will ship with an Ethernet port by 2020, driven by enterprise buyers and gamers. Based on current adoption trends, we estimate that 10 million ports of Multi-Gig Ethernet, in the form of 2.5GBASE-T, 5GBASE-T and 10GBASE-T, will ship in 2020 as PC users transition to Multi-Gig. Inside

PCs, the PHY is typically integrated with an Ethernet data link layer function, as defined in the Open Systems Interconnection model, or OSI model, called a network controller or Media Access Control, or MAC, device. We believe that integrated solutions combining both the PHY and the controller are likely to become the preferred choice of PC original equipment manufacturers.

Carrier access —Our targeted carrier access market focuses on the last 100 meters between the carrier or service provider termination device, which is typically located in the basement of an apartment complex or the entry-door cabinet in an individual home, and the residential gateway box which is typically owned or leased by the consumer. This last 100 meters is also called wide-area-network, or WAN, and the local-area-network, or LAN, side of the gateway. As carriers and service providers deploy “last-mile” high bandwidth technologies, such as Passive Optical Network, or PON, Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL, and cable modem, the need has arisen to provide high-bandwidth, low-cost, easy-to-deploy solutions to connect termination devices and gateway boxes. The bandwidth requirement is now exceeding 1 Gbps in an increasing number of deployments, on distances that are typically within 100 meters between termination device and gateway box. In addition, we anticipate that the availability of Multi-Gig Ethernet on PCs, Network-Attach Storage, or NAS, as well as 802.11ac/ax WiFi extenders and wireless routers, will drive the need for gateways to migrate from 1GbE to Multi-Gig Ethernet on the LAN side as well. Dell’oro projects that 74 million gateways will ship in 2020, representing a total of 370 million ports as gateways typically ship with five Ethernet ports per box. We estimate that seven million ports of Multi-Gig Ethernet will ship on the WAN and LAN sides of these gateways in 2020.

The Automotive Market

The automotive market is undergoing a transformation with the development of self-driving cars. Developing a fully autonomous vehicle requires innovation in the areas of image processing, fast and multi-dimensional decision making processes, and deep learning, similar to some of the most advanced facial recognition algorithms or complex model simulations being handled by super computers in hyperscale data centers today. As a result, systems that are being contemplated by the car industry to deliver such capabilities will likely need high-speed signaling connecting together end points such as cameras and other sensors, processing units, and an array of switches for rich connectivity and redundancy. Ethernet is one of the most promising technologies to deliver the high-speed connectivity required for making the self-driving car a reality. The car environment has its own very stringent set of requirements such as low weight, low power consumption, limited electro-magnetic emissions and susceptibility, ability to support higher spread of environmental temperature, and low cost. In terms of connectivity, this matrix of requirements is well served by high-speed Multi-Gig Ethernet over copper cabling. The potential market opportunity is considerable. Raymond James estimates that the silicon content in ADAS/autonomous vehicles will generate approximately $30.0 billion in revenue by 2030. We are currently shipping products into this market but do not expect significant volume production to occur until 2019.

   Company Address: 4350 South Monaco Street, Suite 500 Denver 80237 CO
   Company Phone Number: 773-1100   Stock Exchange / Ticker: NYSE AQ

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