Tuesday, July 21st 2020

Synaptics to Acquire DisplayLink, Extending Video Interface Market Leadership

Synaptics Incorporated today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire DisplayLink Corp., a leader in high-performance video compression technology, for $305 million in an all-cash transaction. The deal is expected to close in Synaptics' first quarter of fiscal year 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, and be financed from existing cash on hand. Synaptics expects the transaction to add approximately $94 million in annualized sales and be immediately accretive to non-GAAP gross margins, non-GAAP operating margins, and non-GAAP earnings post-close.

DisplayLink's high performance software compression technology enables universal docking and casting of high bandwidth video from any device to any display using any transport medium such as USB, Ethernet or Wi-Fi. For the Enterprise IT market, the solution supports multi-OS environments including Windows, MacOS, ChromeOS and Ubuntu Linux enabling a myriad of devices to seamlessly dock to multiple high resolution (4K, 8K) displays.
"Several market trends such as work from home (WFH), bring your own device (BYOD) and office hoteling coupled with the growing need for multiple, high resolution displays in enterprises are driving demand for universal docking and casting solutions," said Michael Hurlston, President and CEO of Synaptics. "DisplayLink's track record of success and strong market validation coupled with Synaptics' leadership in commercial docking solutions positions us well to capitalize on these trends and deliver compelling solutions to our combined customer base."

The DisplayLink acquisition, in addition to the recently announced acquisition of Broadcom's wireless IoT connectivity portfolio, further accelerates Synaptics' long-term IoT diversification strategy. The combined roadmap is capable of delivering solutions that drive up to four 4K displays, adds support for emerging 8K/10K displays and the upcoming USB4 standard, and uniquely enables high-performance, dynamic wireless video docking and casting.

"Synaptics is a recognized leader in video interface solutions and this combination creates an exciting opportunity for DisplayLink to bring greater value to our customers," said Graham O'Keeffe, CEO of DisplayLink. "Our video compression technology is the perfect complement to Synaptics' current product portfolio, and the combination of our world-class engineering teams will be able to address both existing opportunities and exciting new use cases."
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1 Comment on Synaptics to Acquire DisplayLink, Extending Video Interface Market Leadership

I'm actually looking forward to the merger. Displaylink has been a love hate relationship of mine for a long time especially after propitiatory docking stations went away on business laptops. Now, we are forced to run docks through usb and thunderbolt. Thunderbolt has the bandwidth using pci express lanes and handles the pass through well, but there are not a lot of business grade thunderbolt laptops. There has been non stop issues with usb/displaylink docks. If you start going above 1080p displays or add a few usb devices to the docks. It will oversaturate the usb bus. This can cause extremely high cpu usage. I do not recommend doing multi-displays above 1080p over usb.

The reason this is an issue in the first place is lack of gpu ports on most laptops. For example, we have developers that are mobile. They prefer having laptops. We generally give them i5 to i7's, 16gb of ram, 1tb ssd, windows 10 pro, etc. Most of the team prefer having two 4k displays at the office. A single 4k monitor at 60hz can eat up tons of bandwidth. HDMI 2.0 can handle up to 18Gb/s transfer speeds because of this reason. USB 3.2 can only handle 20Gb/s. Thunderbolt 3 can handle 40Gb/s.

So I'm left with either spending a grand or two on a laptop with a thunderbolt 3 connector or buying a laptop that has more than one gpu port that can handle 4k. Lenovo did a pretty good job with some of their thinkpad series with multiple thunderbolt 3 ports, but they had an issue with the last few generation where their firmware was killing the thunderbolt ports over time. If you didn't patch the laptop fast enough then the entire motherboard require replacement. Good times....

I went on a rant....I'm sorry. This has been an issue for IT admins on strict budgets for a while now.
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