Currently headquartered in Milpitas, CA, Intersil Corporation (ISIL) is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs). The company has a very broad-based product portfolio that serves four broad end markets consumer, computing, communications and industrial.
Semiconductor ICs are broadly divided into three categories analog, digital and radio frequency (RF). Analog semiconductors condition and regulate real world information such as light, temperature, speed, pressure, power and electrical currents. Digital logic semiconductors process information in only two states. Mixed-signal semiconductors combine both analog and digital technology into a single device. Typically, an analog sensor samples real world information, and then converts the input into an electronic analog signal, which is converted into a digital format for further digital processing. The analog and mixed-signal markets tend to be more varied and specialized, with customized products that have longer life cycles than the digital industry segment. There is an ongoing drive to decrease the number of discrete devices, lessen power requirements and shrink the size of the existing devices, and correspondingly increase performance and reliability. Consequently, a greater amount of functionality is being consolidated into increasingly smaller devices. Gartner expects the total semiconductor chip market to increase 10.6% to a $259.5 billion market in 2006. The SIA forecast pegs it at $248.8 billion (up 9.4% over 2005, with the analog component growing 16.8% to $37.3 billion in 2006.(Read more at Wikinvest )