Thou marvell'st at my words, but be thee still; Marvell Technology Group offers digital and mixed-signal integrated circuits for data storage and broadband communications applications. Products include read channels (which convert analog data from a magnetic disk into digital data for computing), preamplifiers, and Ethernet switch controllers and transceivers. The fabless semiconductor company draws most of its sales from a few customers, including Western Digital, Toshiba, and Samsung Electronics. Marvell gets most of its sales in the Asia/Pacific region.
In mid-2010 Marvell acquired Spain-based Diseno de Sistemas en Silicio S.A. (DS2), a maker of powerline communications chips, which convert existing electrical wiring into a networked system. Instead of having to wire a home for Ethernet or set up a wireless network, homes can use power and phone lines, cable, and other wiring to set up broadband-speed home networks. Marvell will continue to sell DS2 products and support the company's customers, though it plans to integrate the DS2 technology into its core home networking portfolio.
After recording a net loss of $65 million in the last quarter of fiscal 2009, Marvell initiated a cost-cutting program across the company, including the layoff of about 850 employees, a 15% reduction in force. Marvell also consolidated facilities during 2009.
Like other chip makers, Marvell is dealing with a recession-driven downturn in the semiconductor industry. Sales of consumer electronics sank in the global economy, driving down sales of chips for those products and other gear. The credit crisis is another concern; the company holds about $142 million in auction-rate securities, a type of security that is difficult to value.
Marvell reached a settlement with the SEC in 2008 regarding the company's alleged backdating of stock option grants. Without admitting or denying the charge of reporting false financial information to investors, the company agreed to a permanent injunction against violating federal securities laws in the future and paid a penalty of $10 million. In comparison, Broadcom had to restate its earnings over five years by more than $2.2 billion and paid $12 million to settle its charges with the SEC.
Weili Dai also reached a settlement with the SEC. The company co-founder also consented to a permanent injunction against violating federal securities laws, agreed not to serve as a director or officer of a public company for a period of five years, and paid a civil penalty of $500,000. As usual, the charge was settled without Dai admitting or denying the allegations in her serving as the one-person "stock option committee" of Marvell.
CEO Sehat Sutardja and VP/GM Weili Dai, who are husband and wife, together have an equity stake of more than 12%.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing provides most of the fabrication services for Marvell's product lines, while assembly and test tasks for the chips are farmed out to ASE, Global Testing Corp., Siliconware Precision Industries, and STATS ChipPAC, among others. Marvell does some in-house testing of new parts before they go into volume production.
Marvell is legally domiciled in Bermuda but headquartered in the US. The distinction gives the company a break on US corporate taxes and some legal immunity to civil actions in US courts.
Marvell Technology Group has offices in Bermuda, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. – less