Tech Continues Evolving Into Chip Hub With Intersil Acquisition

Atlanta's evolution into a major hub for mixed-signal chip design continues as Intersil Corporation, a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance analog and mixed signal semiconductors, has acquired Quellan Inc., a privately held technology leader in the design of high-performance analog signal processing technology.

Founded in 2000, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Quellan currently boasts a development center located on Georgia Tech's campus in the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC). Quellan utilizes a proprietary Collaborative Signal Processing (CSP) architecture that applies adaptive noise cancellation and equalization within the analog domain to remove channel impairments in electronic equipment.

This unique approach enables Quellan's ICs to remove performance-limiting impairments such as signal loss, dispersion, skew and noise in high-speed signal processing applications.

"This acquisition presents strong testimony for the value of Quellan's CSP architecture," said Joy Laskar, director of GEDC, where the original research on CSP began. "It also speaks volumes about the world-class quality and the market awareness of the research at Georgia Tech and GEDC."

Combining these research developments with Intersil's goals and resources should prove to be a boon for chip advancements along with the surrounding technology and academic community.

"The Intersil-Quellan agreement is additional evidence of Georgia Tech's powerful economic development role," said Stephen Fleming, vice provost of the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute and director of the Advanced Technology Development Center. "Georgia Tech research continues to benefit Georgia's economy in a variety of ways."

The relationship promises to be beneficial for both parties.

Adding a world-class development center on the Georgia Tech campus allows Intersil to utilize the talent pool of students, researchers and intellectual resources while further establishing the reputation of Georgia Tech as a center for analog signal research and development.

"Intersil and Georgia Tech share a common vision where advanced analog technologies enable people's lives to be more productive, enjoyable, safer and healthier," said Intersil CEO David Bell. "The partnership we are establishing today will serve to incubate breakthrough technologies and products in the future."

Intersil's products, research and technologies have become an intrinsic element in some of the fastest-growing segments of consumer electronics, including cell phones, flat-panel displays, handheld computing systems and notebooks.

The addition of Quellan to its stable provides an ideal match for the company's long-term technology goals.

"We are very excited to be part of the Intersil family," said Tony Stelliga, Quellan's chairman and CEO. "Quellan's products are immediately applicable in many of Intersil's existing vertical markets, and we believe this will create opportunities in new areas of the analog IC market."

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.