The rapid advancement and widespread proliferation of digital technologies and devices that define our daily lives have made the semiconductor industry more relevant and competitive than ever. Ubiquitous connectivity, smart devices, homes, and vehicles, and an ever-increasing need for more sophisticated, faster, and more efficient technology continue to drive a surging need for advanced semiconductor solutions.
Lattice Semiconductor Corporation is a leading specialist in customizable semiconductors and technologies. The company designs, develops, and supplies a variety of programmable logic devices and related software tools with products including everything from integrated circuits, power management systems, image and video applications, and IoT solutions, among many more.
Known for its high-performance, low-power, and small form factor products, Lattice’s solutions cater to a wide variety of customers, from small start-ups to large corporations, across diverse industries such as consumer electronics, communication systems, and industrial applications. And with customers spread across a range of market geographies, it has established itself as a trusted provider of bespoke applications.
Lattice is currently in a stage of growth and expansion with the company’s strategies focused on continuously improving its product offerings, expanding its customer base, and establishing a stronger presence in key markets. Lattice is also actively investing in research and development to ensure that it remains at the forefront of the semiconductor industry and is able to provide its customers with the latest and most advanced solutions.
Lattice has a long history having been founded almost 40 years ago in Portland, Oregon. The company initially started as a provider of programmable logic devices, offering a range of solutions for a variety of applications, and over the years, has grown and expanded its offerings, adding new and advanced solutions to its portfolio. The company has also made several strategic acquisitions along the way, including SiliconBlue Technologies, which added mobile-optimized, low-power programmable logic solutions to its offerings, and Selea SRL, which brought cutting-edge semiconductor intellectual property to the company’s product portfolio.
In recent years, Lattice has been focused on expanding its presence in key markets and further improving its range to meet the changing needs of its customers. Now a well-established and respected player in the semiconductor industry, it continues to maintain this strong focus on innovation, ensuring it is well-positioned to continue its success and growth in the years to come.
Jim Anderson is Lattice’s president and chief executive officer and also serves on the company’s board of directors. Since he joined in 2018, the company has accelerated its cadence of innovative product introductions and achieved record profitability. Prior to joining Lattice, Anderson served as the senior vice president and general manager of AMD’s Computing and Graphics business group, where he was responsible for global sales, marketing, and engineering. While at AMD, he drove a transformation that brought disruptive new products to market and generated industry-leading revenue growth. Prior to AMD, Anderson held a broad range of leadership positions spanning general management, engineering, sales, marketing, and corporate strategy at companies including Intel, Broadcom, and LSI Corporation. He also serves on the board of directors for several organizations and institutions including the Semiconductor Industry Association.
Stephen Douglass is Lattice’s senior VP of research and development. Also joining the company in 2018, he is responsible for the development of all hardware, software, and solutions. Douglass brings over 30 years of broad technology experience developing programmable solutions for many markets including wired and wireless communications, industrial, automotive, and test and measurement. He was an executive at Xilinx for 20 years, holding a wide range of leadership positions. He also spent 13 years at Cypress Semiconductor, again serving in various leadership roles, after beginning his career as an engineer at Intel.
Lattice offers a range of innovative and flexible programmable logic devices (PLDs), including Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), Video Over IP, and Power Management solutions. These products are used by a variety of market-leading customers across a range of industries, albeit primarily across Communications and Computing, Industrial and Automotive, and Consumer markets.
In the Communications and Computing market, Lattice solutions play key roles in computing systems such as servers and client devices, 5G wireless infrastructure, switches and routers, and other related applications. In the Industrial and Automotive market, solutions include IoT, machine vision, robotics, factory automation, advanced driver assistance systems, and automotive infotainment. While in the Consumer Market, Lattice solutions are making products smarter and thinner, including smart home devices, prosumer devices, sound bars, high-end projectors, virtual and augmented reality, and wearables.
These PLD solutions provide customers with the flexibility to meet their specific design requirements and enable them to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and technologies. FPGA products offer customers a high level of performance and low power consumption, making them ideal for use in a wide range of applications.
In addition to its programmable logic solutions, Lattice offers a comprehensive range of software tools and design resources that support customers throughout the design process. This includes design tools, IP cores, reference designs, and development kits that provide a comprehensive design environment, enabling customers to quickly and easily develop their designs.
The company operates globally, with a strong presence in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and its products are sold through a network of authorized distributors and sales representatives.
There are multiple growth areas that will allow Lattice to increase its addressable market. In particular, there are several emerging trends in servers, infrastructure, and smart devices that are creating large opportunities. These include the growth of hyperscale datacenters, continued infrastructure build-out from 5G deployment and beyond, electrification, and the proliferation of sensors in smart factories, smart homes, and automobiles, along with an increase in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and a multitude of applications at the network edge.
Lattice’s approach to product development is focused on delivering innovative and highly differentiated products that meet the unique requirements of its customers in various markets and applications. Consequently, the company invests heavily in research and development, with a particular focus on developing new technologies and applications that drive growth and competitiveness. To this end, Lattice is leveraging increasing demand for key growth areas by offering solutions that address the needs of a wide range of customers, including system-on-chip designers, FPGA users, and system architects.
In December, Lattice unveiled its Avant line, providing a new FPGA platform purpose-built to bring the company’s power-efficient architecture, small size, and performance leadership to mid-range FPGAs. The products offer best-in-class power efficiency, advanced connectivity, and optimized computing in the company’s key market segments. The new platform is expected to expand Lattice’s set of customer applications across these key markets, creating new greenfield revenue opportunities, and doubling its addressable market from $3 billion to $6 billion.
Lattice also expects continued growth in its Industrial and Automotive segment which has performed particularly well in 2022, surging by 45% year-over-year, as it continues to add applications in industrial automation and robotics, as well as automated driving, and infotainment systems. Back in August, the company launched the Lattice CertusPro NX FPGA family, which is optimized specifically for Automotive and extended temperature applications, combining automotive-grade features with the best-in-class power efficiency, performance, and small form factor found in all Lattice CertusPro NX FPGAs.
In addition to product development, Lattice continues to invest in its sales and marketing teams to expand its reach in existing and new markets. By providing ongoing customer support and training, and working with partners to integrate its solutions into their offerings, the company intends to further grow its customer base and increase the usage of its solutions by existing customers.
Lattice’s efforts to boost its product range and expand its market reach have proven quite successful in recent years. In its latest results, the company recorded its eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth after delivering revenue of $176.0 million, up from $107.2 million in a comparative quarter just two years ago. The top-line growth which has been driven by the industrial, automotive, communications and computing segments, took Lattice’s full-year revenue to $660.4 million, for a 28% increase on 2021.
The company also achieved record operating profit, as gross margins increased to a record 70% in the fourth quarter, driven by a gross margin expansion strategy, which started in 2019.
Looking ahead, management is forecasting to kick off FY23 with total revenue between $175 million and $185 million. While consensus estimates have full-year revenue expected at $735 million, maintaining double-digit year-over-year growth of 11.3%. Analysts are also expecting earnings per share to continue its impressive upwards trajectory, increasing 15% year-over-year to $2.02 and $2.33 for 2023 and 2024 respectively.
In the highly competitive semiconductor industry, Lattice faces competition from several major players such as Intel, Texas Instruments, and NVIDIA, who offer a range of products and services that compete with Lattice’s offerings. Xilinx (a subsidiary of AMD) is also a chief competitor, although after AMD completed the acquisition of Xilinx in February 2022, Lattice became the last fully independent major manufacturer of FPGAs. Additionally, Lattice also faces competition from new entrants and small start-ups that offer specialized solutions.
While the industry is characterized by rapidly changing technology and evolving standards, Lattice’s competitive advantage lies in its ability to provide high-performance and low-power solutions that cater to a wide range of applications. Additionally, the company also has a strong presence in the Asian market, which is a key growth region for the industry.
While potentially not as well known in consumer circles as Intel and NVIDIA, with a wide range of products that cater to a diverse customer base, Lattice is well-established and respected in the market. The company has a strong focus on innovation and has invested heavily in R&D to remain at the forefront of the industry, positioning it well for continued success and growth in the years to come.