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Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended January 2, 2021

or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from ________ to ________

Commission file number: 000-29823

SILICON LABORATORIES INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware

(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

74-2793174
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

400 West Cesar Chavez, Austin, Texas
(Address of principal executive offices)

78701
(Zip Code)

(512416-8500

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

    

Trading Symbol(s)

    

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.0001 par value

SLAB

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. þ Yes  No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes þ No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Sections 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. þ Yes  No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). þ Yes  No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer þ

Accelerated filer 

Non-accelerated filer 

Smaller reporting company 

Emerging growth company 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes  No

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter (July 2, 2020) was approximately $4.2 billion (assuming, for this purpose, that only directors and officers are deemed affiliates).

There were 43,925,156 shares of the registrant's common stock issued and outstanding as of January 25, 2021.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Proxy Statement for the registrant’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Page
Number

Part I

Item 1.

Business

2

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

14

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

29

Item 2.

Properties

29

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

29

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

29

Part II

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

30

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

31

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

32

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

41

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

41

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

41

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

42

Item 9B.

Other Information

42

Part III

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

43

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

43

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

43

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

43

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

43

Part IV

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

44

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

46

Cautionary Statement

Except for the historical financial information contained herein, the matters discussed in this report on Form 10-K (as well as documents incorporated herein by reference) may be considered “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements include declarations regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of Silicon Laboratories Inc. and its management and may be signified by the words “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “project,” “will” or similar language. You are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include those discussed under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report. Silicon Laboratories disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Part I

Item 1.    Business

General

Silicon Laboratories Inc. is a leading provider of silicon, software and solutions for a smarter, more connected world. Our award-winning technologies are shaping the future of the Internet of Things (IoT), internet infrastructure, industrial automation, consumer and automotive markets. Our world-class engineering team creates products focused on performance, energy savings, connectivity and simplicity.

Our primary semiconductor products are mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs), which are electronic components that convert real-world analog signals into digital signals that electronic products can process. Our mixed-signal ICs leverage standard complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS), a low cost, widely available process technology. Use of CMOS technology enables smaller, more cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions. Our software expertise allows us to develop products for markets where intelligent data capture, high-performance processing and communication are increasingly important product differentiators. We also focus design and engineering efforts on technologies that simplify and accelerate adoption by customers of security features engineered into our silicon chips. Our expertise in analog-intensive, mixed-signal IC design in CMOS and software development allows us to develop new and innovative products that are highly integrated and secure, simplifying our customers’ designs and improving their time-to-market.

Industry Background

Intelligence is being added to electronic systems to enable internet connectivity, power efficiency, monitoring of health, safety and consumption of precious resources and an improved user experience. This in turn is increasing the demand for bandwidth, requiring more infrastructure to support higher performance networks. The nearly ubiquitous availability of internet access and the increasing intelligence of electronic devices and mobility are enabling what is called the Internet of Things, a term that describes the exponential increase in IP-enabled devices connected to the internet.

These trends require more and more interaction between the analog world we live in and the digital world of computing, which is driving the need for analog-intensive, mixed-signal circuits in a wide range of electronic products. Traditional mixed-signal designs relied upon solutions built with numerous, complex discrete analog and digital components. While these traditional designs provide the required functionality, they are often inefficient and inadequate for use in markets where size, cost, power consumption, performance and security are increasingly important product differentiators. To improve their competitive position, electronics manufacturers must reduce the cost and complexity of their systems and enable new features or functionality to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Simultaneously, these manufacturers face accelerating time-to-market demands and must rapidly adapt to evolving industry standards and new technologies. Because analog-intensive, mixed-signal design expertise is difficult to find, these manufacturers increasingly are turning to third parties, like us, to provide advanced mixed-signal solutions. Mixed-signal design requires specific expertise and relies on creative, experienced engineers to deliver solutions that optimize speed, power and performance, despite the noisy digital environment, and within the constraints of standard manufacturing processes. The development of this design expertise typically requires years of practical analog design experience under the guidance of a senior engineer, and engineers with the required level of skill and expertise are in short supply.

Many IC solution providers lack sufficient analog expertise to develop compelling mixed-signal products. As a result, manufacturers of electronic devices value providers that can supply them with mixed-signal solutions offering greater functionality, smaller size and lower power requirements at a reduced cost and shorter time-to-market.

Products

We provide analog-intensive, mixed-signal solutions for use in a variety of electronic products in a broad range of applications for the IoT including connected home and security, industrial automation and control, smart metering, smart lighting, commercial building automation, consumer electronics, asset tracking and medical instrumentation. We are a supplier of wireless connectivity solutions for the IoT based on Zigbee®, sub-GHz proprietary technologies, Bluetooth®, Z-Wave®, Thread, and Wi-Fi®. We are also developing commercial and smart city wireless connectivity solutions using the Wi-SUN open LPWAN protocol.

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We provide a wide range of timing and isolation products for infrastructure applications including high-performance clocks and oscillators for networking equipment, data centers, servers and storage, wireless base stations, and automotive applications, as well as digital isolators and current sensors for industrial control and automation, power supplies, electric vehicles, battery management, solar inverters and motor control. We also provide broadcast products for applications such as TVs, set-top boxes and automotive infotainment systems, and access products including subscriber line interface circuits for voice over IP (VoIP), embedded modems, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) power source equipment and powered device ICs.

We have continued to diversify our product portfolio and introduce new products and solutions through both organic investment and acquisitions. Mergers and acquisitions are an important part of our growth strategy. In April 2020, we acquired the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth business of Redpine Signals for approximately $317 million in cash. We believe the acquisition will accelerate our roadmap for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth silicon and software solutions.

Our products integrate complex mixed-signal functions that are frequently performed by numerous discrete components in competing products into a single chip, chipset or system-on-chip (SoC). By doing so, we create products that, when compared to many competing products, offer the following benefits:

Require less printed circuit board (PCB) space;
Reduce the use of external components lowering the system cost and simplifying design;
Offer superior performance improving our customers’ end products;
Provide increased reliability and manufacturability, improving customer yields; and/or
Reduce system power requirements enabling smaller form factors and/or longer battery life.

We group our products into the following categories:

Internet of Things products, which include wireless connectivity, microcontroller (MCU) and sensor products; and
Infrastructure and automotive products, which include timing products (clocks and oscillators); power products (isolation and PoE devices); broadcast products (consumer and automotive radio devices); and access products (VoIP products and embedded modems).

We have combined our previous product groups, Infrastructure, Broadcast and Access, into the Infrastructure and automotive product group. Prior periods were retrospectively adjusted.

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The following table summarizes the diverse product areas and applications for the various products that we have introduced to customers:

Product Areas and Description

    

Applications

Internet of Things Products

Microcontrollers and Wireless Products

We offer a family of products ideally suited to ultra-low power IoT embedded systems that include energy friendly 8-bit mixed-signal microcontrollers, ultra-low power 32-bit microcontroller and wireless MCU connectivity solutions using the ARM® Cortex-M0+/M3/M4 and newer M33 cores. Single and multi-protocol SoC devices and modules provide flexible, highly integrated solutions designed to meet demanding requirements of IoT applications. Wireless protocols include Zigbee, sub-GHz proprietary, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Thread and Wi-Fi technologies. Our EFM32™, EFM8™, 8051, wireless MCUs and wireless SoCs are supported by Simplicity Studio™, which provides one-click access to design tools, documentation, software and support resources. In-house protocol stacks and Micrium® real-time operating system (RTOS) help simplify software development for IoT developers by coordinating and prioritizing multiprotocol connectivity, SoC peripherals and other system-level activities. The introduction of our Series 2 portfolio provides a greater focus on updatable device security which is becoming vital to the evolution and success of IoT. We bring enhanced capability to the industry protecting user data, system keys and manufacturer brands from malicious threats both hands-on and internet-based. Our broad portfolio addresses a variety of target markets, including smart home, commercial (building automation and retail) and industrial (smart energy, factory automation, smart cities).

-  Home automation /security systems

-  Industrial automation and control

-  Smart metering

-  Smart lighting

-  Commercial building automation

-  Patient Monitoring

-  Connected Medical Products

-  Smart Appliances

-  Access control

-  HVAC control

-  Cameras

-  Consumer electronics

-  Asset tracking

-  Medical instrumentation

Sensors

Our sensor products include optical sensors (proximity, ambient light gestures and heart rate monitoring), as well as relative humidity (RH) / temperature sensors and Hall effect magnetic sensors. These devices leverage our mixed-signal capability to provide high accuracy, process technology to improve performance and lower power consumption than competing parts.

-  Consumer health & fitness (wearables)

-  Smart home sensing

-  Industrial controls

-  Toys and consumer electronics

-  Monitors and lavatory controls

-  Consumer medical

Infrastructure and Automotive Products

Timing Devices

Robust demand for bandwidth is driving the deployment of next-generation internet infrastructure equipment to deliver higher speed, higher capacity and more flexible networks. This transition puts unique requirements on the clocks and oscillators used to provide timing and synchronization for the equipment responsible for switching, transporting, processing and storing network traffic. To meet this need, we provide low-jitter, frequency-flexible, mass-customizable timing solutions that accelerate development time, minimize cost and improve system reliability. Our high-performance “clock-tree-on-a-chip” products offer highly integrated single-chip IC solutions for clock synthesis and jitter attenuation, offering superior jitter performance and frequency flexibility for high data rate applications.

-  Optical networking

-  Switches/routers

-  Telecommunications

-  Data center

-  Servers and storage

-  Wireless base stations

-  Mobile fronthaul, midhaul and backhaul

-  Small cells

-  Automotive

-  Industrial

-  Broadcast video

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Product Areas and Description

    

Applications

Isolation Products

Our digital isolation techniques enable customers to deploy more energy efficient power solutions that meet isolation safety standards and solve difficult electronic noise issues. Systems such as data center servers, cellular base stations, uninterruptable power supplies and electric vehicles require increasingly energy efficient power solutions. Electric motors used in electric vehicles, pumps, HVAC compressors, fans and automated machinery need more sophisticated and efficient digital controls. Our isolation technology enables customers to address these demanding requirements. Products include multi-channel isolators, isolated drivers, isolated power converters and mixed-signal devices that simplify design, improve reliability, minimize noise emissions and reduce system cost.

-  Industrial control and automation systems

-  Cloud, datacenter and telecom power supplies

-  Electric vehicle charging and battery management

-  Solar inverters

-  Hybrid / Electric automotive drive trains

-  High power audio

-  Test and measurement equipment

Broadcast Consumer

Our single-chip hybrid TV tuners leverage our proven digital low-IF architecture and support all major analog and digital TV standards, including NTSC, PAL/SECAM, ATSC 1.0/3.0, DVB-T2/T/C2/C, ISDB-T and DTMB, enabling TV makers worldwide to deliver improved picture quality and better reception for both analog and digital broadcasts. Our single-chip, low-power and high-performance single- and dual-channel digital video demodulators are ideal for customer premises equipment (CPE) receiving DVB-T/T2, DVB-S/S2/S2X, DVB-C/C2 and/or ISDB-T. Our AM/FM, HD Radio™ and DAB/DAB+ receivers deliver a complete radio solution, from antenna input to audio output, in a single chip. Our broadcast audio products are based on an innovative digital architecture enabling significant improvements in performance, which translates to a better consumer experience, while reducing system cost and board space for our customers.

-  Worldwide 4K/8K UHD TVs and smart TVs

-  Free-to-Air (FtA) or pay-TV set-top boxes

-  PVR/DVD/Blu-Ray/HDD video recorders

-  PC-TV applications

-  AM/FM clock radios

-  DAB digital radios

-  HD Radio digital radios

-  Home theater systems

-  Portable audio devices

-  MP3/digital media players

ProSLIC® Subscriber Line Interface Circuits for VoIP

Our ProSLIC provides the analog subscriber line interface on the source end of the telephone which generates dial tone, busy tone, caller ID and ring signal. Our offerings are well suited for the market for Voice over IP telephony applications deployed over cable, DSL, optical and wireless fixed terminal networks.

-  Voice functionality for cable, DSL and optical digital modems and terminal adapters

-  VoIP residential gateways

-  Wireless local loop remote access systems

-  PBXs

Broadcast Automotive

Our high-performance automotive infotainment solutions include hybrid Software Defined Radio (SDR) tuners, data receivers and digital radio coprocessors that improve the end user experience, reduce system cost, and support all major digital radio standards, including DAB/DAB+, HD Radio and DRM. Our scalable architecture enables automotive infotainment system suppliers to leverage their investments across multiple product lines ranging from entry-level car radios to cutting-edge multi-tuner, multi-antenna radios for premium vehicles.

-  Automotive OEM infotainment systems

-  Aftermarket car radios

-  Navigation/GPS devices

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Product Areas and Description

    

Applications

ISOmodem® Embedded Modems

Our ISOmodem embedded modems leverage innovative silicon direct access arrangement (DAA) technology and a digital signal processor (DSP) to deliver a globally compliant, compact analog modem for embedded applications.

-  Fax machines and multi-function printers

-  Point of sale (POS) terminals

-  Security systems

-  Industrial monitoring

-  Remote medical monitoring

Power over Ethernet

Our PoE power source equipment and powered device ICs offer highly differentiated solutions with a reduced total bill of materials (BOM) and improved performance and reliability. Our solutions offer a higher level of integration not available with competing solutions.

-  Enterprise networking routers and switches

-  Wireless access points (WAP)

-  VoIP phones

-  POS terminals

-  Security cameras

Revenues during fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018 were generated predominately by sales of our mixed-signal products. The following summarizes our revenue by product category (in thousands):

Fiscal Year

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018

Internet of Things

$

513,670

$

488,156

$

463,838

Infrastructure and automotive

 

373,007

 

349,398

 

404,429

$

886,677

$

837,554

$

868,267

The Company has combined its previous product groups, Infrastructure, Broadcast and Access, into the Infrastructure and automotive product group. Prior periods were retrospectively adjusted.

Customers, Sales and Marketing

We market our products through our direct sales force and through a network of independent sales representatives and distributors. Direct and distribution customers buy on an individual purchase order basis, rather than pursuant to long-term agreements.

We consider our customer to be the end customer purchasing either directly from a distributor, a contract manufacturer or us. During fiscal 2020, our ten largest end customers accounted for 20% of our revenues. We had no customer that represented more than 10% of our revenues during this period. An end customer purchasing through a contract manufacturer typically instructs such contract manufacturer to obtain our products and incorporate such products with other components for sale by such contract manufacturer to the end customer. Although we sell the products to, and are paid by distributors and contract manufacturers, we refer to such end customer as our customer. Three of our distributors who sell to our customers, Arrow Electronics, Edom Technology and Sekorm, each represented 26%, 22% and 11% of our revenues during fiscal 2020, respectively.

We maintain numerous sales offices in Asia, the Americas and Europe. Revenue is attributed to a geographic area based on the shipped-to location. The percentage of our revenues derived from outside of the United States was 90% in fiscal 2020.

Our direct sales force is comprised of many sales professionals who possess varied levels of responsibility and experience, including directors, country managers, regional sales managers, district sales managers, strategic account managers, field sales engineers and sales representatives. We also utilize independent sales representatives and distributors to generate sales of our products. We have relationships with many independent sales representatives and distributors worldwide whom we have selected based on their understanding of the mixed-signal marketplace and their ability to provide effective field sales applications support for our products.

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Our marketing efforts are targeted at both identified industry leaders and emerging market participants. Direct marketing activities are supplemented by a focused marketing communications effort that seeks to raise awareness of our company and products. Our public relations efforts are focused on leading trade and business publications. Our external website is used to deliver corporate and product information. We also pursue targeted advertising in key trade publications and we have a cooperative marketing program that allows our distributors and representatives to promote our products to their local markets in conjunction with their own advertising activities. Finally, we maintain a presence at strategic trade shows and industry events. These activities, in combination with direct sales activities, help drive demand for our products.

Due to the complex and innovative nature of our products, we employ experienced applications engineers who work closely with customers and distributors to support the design-win process, and can significantly accelerate the customer’s time to market. A design win occurs when a customer has designed our ICs into its product architecture and ordered product from us. A considerable amount of effort to help a customer incorporate our ICs into its products is typically required prior to any sale. In many cases, our innovative ICs require significantly different implementations than existing approaches and, therefore, successful implementations may require extensive communication with potential customers. The amount of time required to achieve a design win can vary substantially depending on a customer’s development cycle, which can be relatively short (such as three months) or very long (such as two years) based on a wide variety of customer factors. Not all design wins ultimately result in revenue, or may result in less revenue than expected. However, once a completed design architecture has been implemented and produced in high volumes, our customers are reluctant to significantly alter their designs due to this extensive design-win process. We believe this process, coupled with our intellectual property protection, promotes relatively longer product life cycles for our products and high barriers to entry for competitive products, even if such competing products are offered at lower prices. Our close collaboration with our customers provides us with knowledge of derivative product ideas or completely new product line offerings that may not otherwise arise in other new product discussions.

Research and Development

Through our research and development efforts, we leverage experienced analog and mixed-signal engineering talent and expertise to create new ICs that integrate functions typically performed less efficiently by multiple discrete components. This integration generally results in lower costs, smaller die sizes, lower power demands and enhanced price/performance characteristics. We attempt to reuse successful techniques for integration in new applications where similar benefits can be realized. We believe that we have attracted many of the best engineers in our industry. We believe that reliable and precise analog and mixed-signal ICs can only be developed by teams of engineers who have significant analog experience and are familiar with the intricacies of designing these ICs for commercial volume production. The development of test methodologies is just one example of a critical activity requiring experience and know-how to enable the rapid release of a new product for commercial success. We have accumulated a vast set of trade secrets that allow us to pursue innovative approaches to mixed-signal problems that are difficult for competitors to duplicate. We highly value our engineering talent and strive to maintain a very high bar when bringing new recruits to the company.

Research and development expenses were $287.9 million, $257.2 million and $238.3 million in fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Technology

Our product development process facilitates the design of highly-innovative, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs. Our engineers’ deep knowledge of existing and emerging standards and performance requirements helps us to assess the technical feasibility of a particular IC. We target areas where we can provide compelling product improvements. Once we have solved the primary challenges, our field application engineers continue to work closely with our customers’ design teams to maintain and develop an understanding of our customers’ needs, allowing us to formulate derivative products and refined features.

In providing mixed-signal ICs for our customers, we believe our key competitive advantages are:

Analog and RF design expertise in CMOS;
Mixed-signal, firmware and system design expertise;
Microcontroller and system on a chip design expertise;
Software expertise, including multiprotocol connectivity and real-time operating systems for the IoT;
Module integration and wireless design expertise;

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Silicon-to-cloud security integration expertise; and
Our broad understanding of systems technology and trends.

To fully capitalize on these advantages, we have assembled a world-class development team with exceptional analog and mixed-signal design expertise led by accomplished senior engineers.

Analog and RF Design Expertise in CMOS

We believe that our most significant core competency is world-class analog and RF design capability. Additionally, we strive to design substantially all our ICs in standard CMOS processes. Most of our product designs now incorporate some type of RF in CMOS technology. While it is often significantly more difficult to design analog ICs in CMOS, CMOS provides multiple benefits versus existing alternatives, including significantly reduced cost, reduced technology risk and greater worldwide foundry capacity. CMOS is the most commonly used process technology for manufacturing digital ICs and as a result is most likely to be used for the manufacturing of ICs with finer line geometries. These finer line geometries can enable smaller and faster ICs. By designing our ICs in CMOS, we enable our products to benefit from this trend towards finer line geometries, which allows us to integrate more digital functionality into our mixed-signal ICs.

Designing analog and mixed-signal ICs is significantly more complicated than designing standalone digital ICs. While advanced software tools exist to help automate digital IC design, there are far fewer tools for advanced analog and mixed-signal IC design. In many cases, our analog circuit design efforts begin at the fundamental transistor level. We believe that we have a demonstrated ability to design the most difficult analog and RF circuits using standard CMOS technologies.

Mixed-Signal, Firmware and System Design Expertise

We consider the partitioning of a circuit to be a proprietary and creative design technique. Deep systems knowledge allows us to use our mixed-signal and RF in CMOS design expertise to maximize the price/performance characteristics of both the analog and digital functions and allow our ICs to work in an optimized manner to accomplish particular tasks. Generally, we attempt to move analog functions into the digital domain as quickly as possible, creating system efficiencies without compromising performance. These patented approaches require our advanced signal processing and systems expertise. We then leverage our firmware know-how to change the ‘personality’ of our devices, optimizing features and functions needed by various markets we serve. For example, our wireless SoC devices for IoT applications integrate both digital and analog domains in a single chip. The SoCs combine ARM Cortex-M processor cores, a variety of digital and analog peripherals, hardware cryptography accelerators, and analog-intensive multiprotocol radio transceivers. This system integration at the chip level leverages our deep expertise in mixed-signal and RF design, and low-power wireless MCU architectures pioneered for more than a decade.

Microcontroller and System on a Chip Design Expertise

We have the talent and circuit integration methodologies required to combine precision analog, high-speed digital, flash memory and in-system programmability into a single, monolithic CMOS integrated circuit. Our microcontroller products are designed to capture an external analog signal, convert it to a digital signal, compute digital functions on the stream of data and then communicate the results through a standard digital interface. The ability to develop standard products with the broadest possible customer application base while being cost efficient with the silicon area of the monolithic CMOS integrated circuit requires a keen sense of customer value and engineering capabilities. Additionally, to manage the wide variety of signals on a monolithic piece of silicon including electrical noise, harmonics and other electronic distortions requires a fundamental knowledge of device physics and accumulated design expertise.

Software Expertise

Our software expertise allows us to develop products for markets where intelligent data capture, high-performance processing and communication are increasingly important product differentiators. The software we have developed to address these markets enables machine-to-machine communications, providing intelligence to electronic systems. Our products integrate high-performance, low-power wireless and microcontroller ICs with reliable and scalable software into a flexible and robust networking platform.

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The demand for low-power, small-footprint wireless technology is accelerating as more and more IP-enabled end points are being connected to the IoT. Our software enables a broad range of power-sensitive applications for the IoT, including smart energy, home automation, security and other connected products. We believe that the combination of our software and IC design expertise differentiates us from many of our competitors.

As the IoT continues to mature, a new class of embedded applications is emerging, presenting feature-rich and task-intensive use cases. This growing complexity is driving the need for real-time operating systems to help simplify software development for IoT applications by coordinating and prioritizing multiprotocol connectivity, SoC peripherals and other system-level activities. In addition to being able to manage numerous application tasks, an RTOS enhances scalability, and makes complex applications predictable and reliable. To address these application needs, in 2016 we acquired Micrium, an embedded RTOS provider. Micrium has established itself as a reliable, high performance and trusted RTOS software platform, with an installed base that has grown to millions of devices.

Module Integration and Wireless Design Expertise

The market for wireless modules has grown as customers search for solutions that provide turnkey wireless connectivity for their products. The development of modules is difficult due to stringent requirements, including high levels of integration, programmability, performance, reliability, security and power efficiency. In addition, designs must meet numerous wireless standards deployed in various environments and serving diverse requirements.

Our combined expertise in IC design and software development allows us to engineer modules that provide robust, high-performance connections in challenging wireless environments. We have developed wireless modules based on numerous wireless standards, including Z-Wave, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Thread, Wi-Fi and sub-GHz. We believe our demonstrated proficiency in the design of modules provides our customers with significant advantages such as fast time to market, reduced development cost, global wireless certifications and software reuse.

Silicon-to-Cloud Security Integration Expertise

Security is of paramount importance to our customers. More than ever before, device manufacturers and OEMs developing IoT products have specific needs to ensure their solutions are secure. Security is a complex endeavor involving the convergence of multiple integrated hardware and software technologies. IoT products are designed to ensure the devices operate in a trusted and reliable manner, enforce policies as well as protect the confidentiality, authenticity and integrity of data and private information being processed and transmitted. The building blocks are built in hardware based on dedicated IC security components integrated into SoC designs. These specialized security components are designed to enhance cryptographic capabilities and exploit unique physical characteristics of CMOS to establish foundations of trust and enable device identity and assurance.

In addition to developing specific security hardware and software capabilities, we also focus design and engineering efforts on technologies that simplify and accelerate adoption by customers of security features engineered into our silicon chips. This is primarily achieved through software tools such as Simplicity Studio and its integration with cloud-based services that simplify implementation, reduce complexity and enable management of security for fleets of devices. Those capabilities are designed to help customers develop products and solutions with chip-to-cloud security integration, enable faster time to market and reduce security defects, risks and losses due to security attacks and incidents. We are creating innovative security solutions that enable customers to develop best-in-class, simple and economical solutions. We will continue investing in security-specific research and development that addresses a dynamic threat landscape, emerging regulatory requirements, and evolving customer security and privacy needs.

Understanding of Systems Technology and Trends

Our focused expertise in mixed-signal ICs is the result of the breadth of engineering talent we have assembled with experience working in analog-intensive CMOS design for a wide variety of applications. This expertise, which we consider a competitive advantage, is the foundation of our in-depth understanding of the technology and trends that impact electronic systems and markets. Our expertise includes:

Isolation, which is critical for existing and emerging industrial, hybrid and hybrid-electric applications and telecom networks;
Frequency synthesis, which is core technology for wireless and clocking applications;
Integration, which enables the elimination of discrete components in a system; and

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Signal processing and precision analog, which forms the heart of consumer, industrial, medical and automotive electronics applications.

Our understanding of the role of analog/digital interfaces within electronic systems, standards evolution, and end market drivers enables us to identify product development opportunities and capitalize on market trends.

Manufacturing

As a fabless semiconductor company, we conduct IC design and development in our facilities and electronically transfer our proprietary IC designs to third-party semiconductor fabricators who process silicon wafers to produce the ICs that we design. Our IC designs typically use industry-standard CMOS manufacturing process technology to achieve a level of performance normally associated with more expensive special-purpose IC fabrication technology. We believe the use of CMOS technology facilitates the rapid production of our ICs within a lower cost framework. Our IC production employs submicron process geometries which are readily available from leading foundry suppliers worldwide, thus increasing the likelihood that manufacturing capacity will be available throughout our products’ life cycles. We currently partner primarily with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) to manufacture the majority of our semiconductor wafers. We believe that our fabless manufacturing model significantly reduces our capital requirements and allows us to focus our resources on design, development and marketing of our ICs.

Once the silicon wafers have been produced, they are shipped directly to our third-party assembly subcontractors. The assembled ICs are then moved to the final testing stage. This operation can be performed by the same contractor that assembled the IC, other third-party test subcontractors or within our internal facilities prior to shipping to our customers. During fiscal 2020, most of our units shipped were tested by offshore third-party test subcontractors. We expect that our utilization of offshore third-party test subcontractors will remain substantial during fiscal 2021.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our suppliers are uncertain, evolving and dependent on numerous unpredictable factors outside of our control. If our suppliers experience closures or reductions in their capacity utilization levels in the future, we may have difficulty sourcing materials necessary to fulfill production requirements. Disruptions to our business and supply chain (and the business and supply chains of our customers) could cause significant delays in shipments of our products until we are able to shift our manufacturing, assembling or testing from the affected subcontractor to another third-party vendor. Capacity is currently limited at certain of our third-party foundry, assembly and test subcontractors due to a spike in semiconductor demand

Backlog

We include in backlog accepted product purchase orders from customers and worldwide distributor stocking orders. Product orders in our backlog are subject to changes in delivery schedules or cancellation at the option of the purchaser typically without penalty. Our backlog may fluctuate significantly depending upon customer order patterns which may, in turn, vary considerably based on rapidly changing business circumstances. Accordingly, we do not believe that our backlog at any time is necessarily representative of actual sales for any succeeding period.

Competition

The markets for semiconductors generally, and for analog and mixed-signal ICs in particular, are intensely competitive. We anticipate that the market for our products will continually evolve and will be subject to rapid technological change. We believe the principal competitive factors in our industry are:

    Product size;

    Power requirement;

    Level of integration;

    Customer support;

    Product capabilities;

    Reputation;

    Reliability;

    Ability to rapidly introduce new products to market;

    Price;

    Intellectual property; and

    Performance;

    Software.

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We believe that we are competitive with respect to these factors, particularly because our ICs typically are smaller in size, are highly integrated, achieve high performance specifications at lower price points than competitive products and are manufactured in standard CMOS which generally enables us to supply them on a relatively rapid basis to customers to meet their product introduction schedules. However, disadvantages we face include our relatively short operating history in certain of our markets and the need for customers to redesign their products and modify their software to implement our ICs in their products.

Due to our diversified product portfolio and the numerous markets and applications we serve, we target a relatively large number of competitors. We compete with AltoBeam, Analog Devices, Aura, Broadcom, Dialog, Espressif, Infineon, Maxim Integrated Products, MaxLinear, MediaTek, Microchip, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP, Qualcomm, Rafael, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, Synaptics, Telink, Texas Instruments and others. We expect to face competition in the future from our current competitors, other manufacturers and designers of semiconductors and start-up semiconductor design companies. Our competitors may also offer bundled solutions offering a more complete product, which may negatively impact our competitive position despite the technical merits or advantages of our products. In addition, our customers could develop products or technologies internally that would replace their need for our products and would become a source of competition. We could also face competition from module makers or other systems suppliers that may include mixed-signal components in their products that could eliminate the need for our ICs.

Many of our competitors and potential competitors have longer operating histories, greater name recognition, access to larger customer bases, complementary product offerings, and significantly greater financial, sales and marketing, manufacturing, distribution, technical and other resources than us. Current and potential competitors have established or may establish financial and strategic relationships between themselves or with our existing or potential customers, resellers or other third parties. Accordingly, it is possible that new competitors or alliances among competitors could emerge and rapidly acquire significant market share.

Intellectual Property

Our future success depends in part upon our proprietary technology. We seek to protect our technology through a combination of patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks and confidentiality procedures. As of January 2, 2021, we had approximately 1,771 issued or pending United States and foreign patents. Patents generally have a term of twenty years from the date they are filed. As our patent portfolio has been built over time, the remaining terms of the individual patents in our patent portfolio vary. There can be no assurance that patents will ever be issued with respect to our patent applications. Furthermore, it is possible that any patents held by us may be invalidated, circumvented, challenged or licensed to others. In addition, there can be no assurance that such patents will provide us with competitive advantages or adequately safeguard our proprietary rights. While we continue to file new patent applications with respect to our recent developments, existing patents are granted for prescribed time periods and will expire at various times in the future.

We claim copyright protection for proprietary documentation for our products. We have filed for registration, or are in the process of filing for registration, the visual images of certain ICs with the U.S. Copyright Office. We have registered the “Silicon Labs” logo and a variety of other product and product family names as trademarks in the United States and selected foreign jurisdictions. All other trademarks, service marks or trade names appearing in this report are the property of their respective owners. We also attempt to protect our trade secrets and other proprietary information through agreements with our customers, suppliers, employees and consultants, and through other customary security measures. We intend to protect our rights vigorously, but there can be no assurance that our efforts will be successful. In addition, the laws of other countries in which our products are sold may not protect our products and intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States.

While our ability to effectively compete depends in large part on our ability to protect our intellectual property, we believe that our technical expertise and ability to introduce new products in a timely manner will be an important factor in maintaining our competitive position.

Many participants in the semiconductor and electronics industries have a significant number of patents and have frequently demonstrated a readiness to commence litigation based on allegations of patent and other intellectual property infringement. From time to time, third parties may assert infringement claims against us. We may not prevail in any such litigation or may not be able to license any valid and infringed patents from third parties on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. Litigation, regardless of the outcome, is likely to result in substantial cost and diversion of our resources, including our management’s time. Any such litigation could materially adversely affect us.

Our licenses include industry standard licenses with our vendors, such as wafer fabrication tool libraries, third-party core libraries, computer-aided design applications and business software applications.

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Human Capital

Our success depends on our ability to continue to attract, retain and motivate qualified employees, particularly highly skilled analog and mixed-signal engineers and senior management personnel. We strive to meet this objective by offering competitive compensation and benefits in a diverse, inclusive and safe workplace, with opportunities for our employees to grow and develop in their careers.

As of January 2, 2021, we employed 1,838 people, of whom more than 60% are in engineering roles. Women represent approximately 20% of our workforce and men represent approximately 80%. We are a multi-national and multi-ethnic workforce, with sites and employees in more than a dozen countries. We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace that attracts and retains exceptional talent. We actively promote diversity in our recruitment, development and promotion practices. These principles are also reflected in our employee training, in particular with respect to our policies against harassment, discrimination and the elimination of bias in the workplace.

We hold our employees to high performance standards and our compensation plans are designed to deliver competitive base pay and attractive incentive opportunities. Our benefits programs are tailored to the various countries in which we operate. We benchmark for market practices, and regularly review our compensation and benefit programs against the market to ensure they remain competitive.

We support a high-performance culture through learning and development solutions aligned with our strategic priorities. Our approach is business-centric, accessible and inclusive. Employees continuously collaborate and share their expertise through an internal training program consisting of classes and workshops that help strengthen technical and professional skills and advance careers. We also host university professors and external speakers to broaden knowledge, trigger creativity and inspire innovation. Our e-learning libraries and on-demand training videos allow employees to absorb information at their own pace and share their recommendations with co-workers. Employees are invited to attend our annual two-day technical symposium featuring peer-reviewed presentations showcasing our internal technical achievements and talks from outside experts to educate and inspire our workforce. Our talent development programs provide employees with the resources they need to help achieve their career goals, build management skills and lead their organizations. We regularly review succession plans and focus on promoting internal talent to help grow our employees’ careers.

We believe that our future success will be dependent on retaining the services of our key personnel, developing their successors and properly managing the transition of key roles when they occur. Our key technical personnel represent a significant asset and serve as the primary source for our technological and product innovations. We use employee surveys to better understand and improve the employee experience and identify opportunities to continually strengthen our work philosophy. We use employee feedback to drive and improve processes and ensure a deep understanding of our culture and vision among our employees. We believe the development of our company culture, along with competitive compensation, career growth and development opportunities have helped increase employee tenure and reduce voluntary turnover. During fiscal 2020, our voluntary employee turnover rate was less than 10%.

The health and safety of our employees is of utmost important to us. We offer comprehensive benefits to protect the health of our employees and their families as well as their way of life. We provide our employees and their families with access to a variety of innovative, flexible and convenient health and wellness programs that support their physical and mental health by providing tools and resources to help them improve or maintain their health status. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented a response plan that we believe was in the best interest of our employees and the communities in which we operate. This included largely transitioning our global workforce to a remote work model, while implementing additional safety measures for essential employees continuing critical on-site work.

Corporate Social Responsibility

As a global corporate citizen, we are committed to environmental sustainability, operational excellence, and support for people and communities around the world. We strive to minimize resource use and reduce the environmental impact of our production process by designing smaller and more energy-efficient products, conserving energy and precious resources, and investing in sustainable technologies. We believe that sharing our success with the community is also a key component of our corporate value to “do the right thing.” Our philanthropy program provides financial, volunteer and in-kind support to organizations that have made a difference in improving the quality of life throughout the world, including those promoting diversity, inclusion and social justice. Actions we have taken in pursuit of these commitments include:

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Environmental Programs

Adopted and require our suppliers to support the Responsible Business Alliance® (RBA®) Code of Conduct;
Prioritized qualified suppliers who are socially and environmentally progressive;
Demanded excellence in our quality and environmental performance, as demonstrated through our extensive product and process qualification commitments, including ISO 9001 Quality Management System and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System;

Social Programs

Donated a portion of our annual profits to charitable organizations;
Provided corporate matching for employee donations to qualified nonprofit organizations;
Offered 24 hours of paid time off per year for employees to volunteer in their communities;
Signed an open letter to take actions that advance racial justice, denounce racism and commit to real, sustained action and progress. As part of that effort, we granted $100 thousand to a collaborative nonprofit project that funds five racial justice organizations and provides the infrastructure for advocacy, volunteering and education;
Provided financial grants to organizations offering STEM education programs for at-risk students; and
Engaged in community service projects in our communities globally and donated to relief efforts when disasters occur.

Governmental Regulations

We are subject to international, federal, state and local regulations that are customary to businesses in the semiconductor industry. Such regulations include:

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (“RoHS”), which restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment;
General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which provides guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information from individuals who live in the European Union;
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"), which prohibits companies and their individual officers from influencing foreign officials with any personal payments or rewards; and
Conflict minerals reporting, which imposes disclosure requirements regarding the use of “conflict” minerals mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries in products.

Our compliance with these laws and regulations has not had a material impact on our financial position or results of operations.

Available Information

Our website address is www.silabs.com. Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are available through the investor relations page of our website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Our website and the information contained therein or connected thereto are not intended to be incorporated into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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Item 1A.    Risk Factors

Global Business Risks

The COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the global economy, disrupted global supply chains and created significant volatility and disruption of financial markets. The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operational and financial performance will depend on future developments, including the duration, severity and spread of the pandemic, related restrictions on travel and transportation and other actions that may be taken by governmental authorities, the impact to the business of our suppliers or customers and other items identified in the risk factors below, all of which are uncertain and cannot be predicted.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, or a similar public health crisis, on our business, customers, suppliers, employees, markets and financial results and condition are uncertain, evolving and dependent on numerous unpredictable factors outside of our control, including:

The duration and impact of a global economic recession or depression that could further reduce demand and/or pricing for our products;
Disruptions to our business and supply chain (and the business and supply chains of our customers) in connection with the sourcing of materials, equipment and engineering support, and services from geographic areas impacted by the public health crisis, including disruptions caused by illnesses, quarantines and restrictions on people’s ability to work, office and factory closures, disruptions to ports and other shipping infrastructure, border closures, and other travel or health-related restrictions;
Delays or limitations on the ability of our customers to make timely payments;
Governmental actions to limit exposure to and spreading of such infectious diseases, such as travel restrictions, quarantines and business shutdowns or slowdowns, facility closures or other restrictions;
Deterioration of worldwide credit and financial markets that could limit our ability to obtain external financing to fund our operations and capital expenditures or to refinance our existing indebtedness;
Potential asset impairments, including goodwill, intangible assets, investments and other assets;
Complexities related to our employees temporarily working from home as well as increased cyber-related risks due to our employees working from home;
Potential failure of our computer systems or communication systems; and
Investment-related risks, including difficulties in liquidating investments due to current market conditions and adverse investment performance.

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There can be no assurance that any decrease in sales resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will be offset by increased sales in subsequent periods. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, we may continue to experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of its global economic impact, including any recession, economic downturn or increased unemployment that has occurred or may occur in the future. An extended period of global supply chain and economic disruption could materially affect our business, results of operations, access to sources of liquidity and financial condition.

We are subject to the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry, which has been subject to significant fluctuations

The semiconductor industry is highly cyclical and is characterized by constant and rapid technological change, rapid product obsolescence and price erosion, evolving standards, short product life cycles and wide fluctuations in product supply and demand. The industry has experienced significant fluctuations, often connected with, or in anticipation of, maturing product cycles and new product introductions of both semiconductor companies' and their customers' products and fluctuations in general economic conditions. Deteriorating general worldwide economic conditions, including reduced economic activity, concerns about credit and inflation, increased energy costs, decreased consumer confidence, reduced corporate profits, decreased spending and similar adverse business conditions, would make it very difficult for our customers, our vendors, and us to accurately forecast and plan future business activities and could cause U.S. and foreign businesses to slow spending on our products. We cannot predict the timing, strength, or duration of any economic slowdown or economic recovery. If the economy or markets in which we operate deteriorate, our business, financial condition, and results of operations would likely be materially and adversely affected.

Downturns have been characterized by diminished product demand, production overcapacity, high inventory levels and accelerated erosion of average selling prices. Upturns have been characterized by increased product demand and production capacity constraints created by increased competition for access to third-party foundry, assembly and test capacity. We are dependent on the availability of such capacity to manufacture, assemble and test our products. Foundry, assembly and test capacity is currently limited due to a spike in semiconductor demand. None of our third-party foundry, assembly or test subcontractors have provided assurances that adequate capacity will be available to us.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused further global economic uncertainty. The impact from the rapidly changing market and economic conditions due to the COVID-19 outbreak is uncertain, disrupting the business of our customers and suppliers, and could impact our business and operating results in the future.

We are a global company, which subjects us to additional business risks including logistical and financial complexity, political instability and currency fluctuations

We have established international subsidiaries and have opened offices in international markets to support our activities in Asia, the Americas and Europe. This has included the establishment of a headquarters in Singapore for non-U.S. operations. During fiscal 2020, the percentage of our revenues derived from outside of the United States was 90% (and the revenue associated with end customers in China was 26%, and revenue attributed to China based on shipped-to location was 45)%. We may not be able to maintain or increase global market demand for our products. Our international operations are subject to a number of risks, including:

Complexity and costs of managing international operations and related tax obligations, including our headquarters for non-U.S. operations in Singapore;
Protectionist laws and business practices, including trade restrictions, tariffs, export controls, quotas and other trade barriers, including China-U.S. trade policies and the potential effects of Brexit;
Trade tensions, geopolitical uncertainty, or governmental actions, including those arising from the trade dispute between the U.S. and China, may lead customers to favor products from non-US companies which could put us at a competitive disadvantage and result in decreased customer demand for our products and our customers’ products;
Restrictions or tariffs imposed on certain countries and sanctions or export controls imposed on customers or suppliers may affect our ability to sell and source our products;
Difficulties related to the protection of our intellectual property rights in some countries;
Public health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, may affect our international operations, suppliers and customers and we may experience delays in product development, a decreased ability to support our customers and reduced design win activity if the travel restrictions or business shutdowns or slowdowns continue for an extended period of time in any of the countries in which we, our suppliers and our customers operate and do business;
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Multiple, conflicting and changing tax and other laws and regulations that may impact both our international and domestic tax and other liabilities and result in increased complexity and costs, including the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which we expect to increase our effective tax rate, in part due to the impact of the requirement to capitalize and amortize foreign research and development expenses beginning in 2022;
Longer sales cycles;
Greater difficulty in accounts receivable collection and longer collection periods;
High levels of distributor inventory subject to price protection and rights of return to us;
Political and economic instability;
Greater difficulty in hiring and retaining qualified personnel; and
The need to have business and operations systems that can meet the needs of our international business and operating structure.

To date, substantially all of our sales to international customers and purchases of components from international suppliers have been denominated in U.S. dollars. As a result, an increase in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies could make our products more expensive for our international customers to purchase, thus rendering our products less competitive. Similarly, a decrease in the value of the U.S. dollar could reduce our buying power with respect to international suppliers.

Our research and development efforts are focused on a limited number of new technologies and products, and any delay in the development, or abandonment, of these technologies or products by industry participants, or their failure to achieve market acceptance, could compromise our competitive position

Our products serve as components and solutions in electronic devices in various markets. As a result, we have devoted and expect to continue to devote a large amount of resources to develop products based on new and emerging technologies and standards that will be commercially introduced in the future. Research and development expense during fiscal 2020 was $287.9 million, or 32.5% of revenues. A number of companies are actively involved in the development of these new technologies and standards. Should any of these companies delay or abandon their efforts to develop commercially available products based on new technologies and standards, our research and development efforts with respect to these technologies and standards likely would have no appreciable value. In addition, if we do not correctly anticipate new technologies and standards, or if the products that we develop based on these new technologies and standards fail to achieve market acceptance, our competitors may be better able to address market demand than we would. Furthermore, if markets for these new technologies and standards develop later than we anticipate, or do not develop at all, demand for our products that are currently in development would suffer, resulting in lower sales of these products than we currently anticipate.

Competition within the numerous markets we target may reduce sales of our products and reduce our market share

The markets for semiconductors in general, and for mixed-signal products in particular, are intensely competitive. We expect that the market for our products will continually evolve and will be subject to rapid technological change. In addition, as we target and supply products to numerous markets and applications, we face competition from a relatively large number of competitors. We compete with AltoBeam, Analog Devices, Aura, Broadcom, Dialog, Espressif, Infineon, Maxim Integrated Products, MaxLinear, MediaTek, Microchip, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP, Qualcomm, Rafael, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, Synaptics, Telink, Texas Instruments and others. We expect to face competition in the future from our current competitors, other manufacturers and designers of semiconductors, and start-up semiconductor design companies. As the markets for communications products grow, we also may face competition from traditional communications device companies. These companies may enter the mixed-signal semiconductor market by introducing their own products or by entering into strategic relationships with or acquiring other existing providers of semiconductor products. In addition, large companies may restructure their operations to create separate companies or may acquire new businesses that are focused on providing the types of products we produce or acquire our customers.

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We rely on third parties to manufacture, assemble and test our products and the failure to successfully manage our relationships with our manufacturers and subcontractors would negatively impact our ability to sell our products

We do not have our own wafer fab manufacturing facilities. Therefore, we rely on third-party vendors to manufacture the products we design. We also currently rely on Asian third-party assembly subcontractors to assemble and package the silicon chips provided by the wafers for use in final products. Additionally, we rely on these offshore subcontractors for a substantial portion of the testing requirements of our products prior to shipping. We expect utilization of third-party subcontractors to continue in the future.

The cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry drives wide fluctuations in available capacity at third-party vendors. On occasion, we have been unable to adequately respond to unexpected increases in customer demand due to capacity constraints and, therefore, were unable to benefit from this incremental demand. We may be unable to obtain adequate foundry, assembly or test capacity from our third-party subcontractors to meet our customers’ delivery requirements even if we adequately forecast customer demand. For example, foundry, assembly and test capacity is currently limited due to a spike in semiconductor demand. As a result, we have recently experienced longer lead times at certain third-party foundry subcontractors. In addition, use of subcontractors outside of China has increased due to U.S.-China trade concerns. This is resulting in competing demand for capacity at our suppliers. Such conditions may adversely affect our revenue and increase our costs.

There are significant risks associated with relying on these third-party foundries and subcontractors, including:

Failure by us, our customers or their end customers to qualify a selected supplier;
Potential insolvency of the third-party subcontractors;
Reduced control over delivery schedules and quality;
Limited warranties on wafers or products supplied to us;
Potential increases in prices or payments in advance for capacity;
Increased need for international-based supply, logistics and financial management;
Disruption to our supply chain resulting from cyber-attacks on our suppliers’ information technology systems;
Their inability to supply or support new or changing packaging technologies; and
Low test yields.

We typically do not have long-term supply contracts with our third-party vendors which obligate the vendor to perform services and supply products to us for a specific period, in specific quantities, and at specific prices. Our third-party foundry, assembly and test subcontractors typically do not guarantee that adequate capacity will be available to us within the time required to meet demand for our products. In the event that these vendors fail to meet our demand for whatever reason, we expect that it would take up to 12 months to transition performance of these services to new providers. Such a transition may also require qualification of the new providers by our customers or their end customers.

If our suppliers experience closures or reductions in their capacity utilization levels in the future, we may have difficulty sourcing materials necessary to fulfill production requirements. Public health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic may affect our suppliers’ production capabilities as a result of quarantines, closures of production facilities, lack of supplies or delays caused by restrictions on travel.

Most of the silicon wafers for the products that we have sold were manufactured either by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) or Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC). Our customers typically complete their own qualification process. If we fail to properly balance customer demand across the existing semiconductor fabrication facilities that we utilize or are required by our foundry partners to increase, or otherwise change the number of fab lines that we utilize for our production, we might not be able to fulfill demand for our products and may need to divert our engineering resources away from new product development initiatives to support the fab line transition, which would adversely affect our operating results.

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We may not be able to maintain our historical growth and may experience significant period-to-period fluctuations in our revenues and operating results, which may result in volatility in our stock price

Although we have generally experienced revenue growth in our history, we may not be able to sustain this growth. We may also experience significant period-to-period fluctuations in our revenues and operating results in the future due to a number of factors, and any such variations may cause our stock price to fluctuate. In some future period our revenues or operating results may be below the expectations of public market analysts or investors. If this occurs, our stock price may drop, perhaps significantly.

A number of factors, in addition to those cited in other risk factors applicable to our business, may contribute to fluctuations in our revenues and operating results, including:

The timing and volume of orders received from our customers;
The timeliness of our new product introductions and the rate at which our new products may cannibalize our older products;
The rate of acceptance of our products by our customers, including the acceptance of new products we may develop for integration in the products manufactured by such customers, which we refer to as “design wins”;
The time lag and realization rate between “design wins” and production orders;
Supplier capacity constraints;
The demand for, and life cycles of, the products incorporating our mixed-signal solutions;
The rate of adoption of mixed-signal products in the markets we target;
Deferrals or reductions of customer orders in anticipation of new products or product enhancements from us or our competitors or other providers of mixed-signal ICs;
Changes in product mix;
The average selling prices for our products could drop suddenly due to competitive offerings or competitive predatory pricing;
The average selling prices for our products generally decline over time;
Changes in market standards;
Impairment charges related to inventory, equipment or other long-lived assets;
The software used in our products, including software provided by third parties, may not meet the needs of our customers;
Our customers may not be able to obtain other components such as capacitors (which are currently in short supply) that they need to incorporate in conjunction with our products, leading to potential downturn in the demand for our products;
Significant legal costs to defend our intellectual property rights or respond to claims against us; and
The rate at which new markets emerge for products we are currently developing or for which our design expertise can be utilized to develop products for these new markets.

The markets for consumer electronics, for example, are characterized by rapid fluctuations in demand and seasonality that result in corresponding fluctuations in the demand for our products that are incorporated in such devices. Additionally, the rate of technology acceptance by our customers results in fluctuating demand for our products as customers are reluctant to incorporate a new IC into their products until the new IC has achieved market acceptance. Once a new IC achieves market acceptance, demand for the new IC can quickly accelerate to a point and then level off such that rapid historical growth in sales of a product should not be viewed as indicative of continued future growth. In addition, demand can quickly decline for a product when a new IC product is introduced and receives market acceptance. Due to the various factors mentioned above, the results of any prior quarterly or annual periods should not be relied upon as an indication of our future operating performance.

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The average selling prices of our products could decrease rapidly which may negatively impact our revenues and gross profit

We may experience substantial period-to-period fluctuations in future operating results due to the erosion of our average selling prices. We have reduced the average unit price of our products in anticipation of or in response to competitive pricing pressures, new product introductions by us or our competitors and other factors. If we are unable to offset any such reductions in our average selling prices by increasing our sales volumes, increasing our sales content per application or reducing production costs, our gross profit and revenues will suffer. To maintain our gross profit, we will need to develop and introduce new products and product enhancements on a timely basis and continually reduce our costs. Our failure to do so could cause our revenues and gross profit to decline.

We depend on our key personnel to manage our business effectively in a rapidly changing market, and if we are unable to retain our current personnel and hire additional personnel, our ability to develop and successfully market our products could be harmed

We believe our future success will depend in large part upon our ability to attract and retain highly skilled managerial, engineering, sales and marketing personnel. We believe that our future success will be dependent on retaining the services of our key personnel, developing their successors and certain internal processes to reduce our reliance on specific individuals, and on properly managing the transition of key roles when they occur. There is currently a shortage of qualified personnel with significant experience in the design, development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of analog and mixed-signal products. In particular, there is a shortage of engineers who are familiar with the intricacies of the design and manufacturability of analog elements, and competition for such personnel is intense. Our key technical personnel represent a significant asset and serve as the primary source for our technological and product innovations. We may not be successful in attracting and retaining sufficient numbers of technical personnel to support our anticipated growth. The loss of any of our key employees or the inability to attract or retain qualified personnel both in the United States and internationally, including engineers, sales, applications and marketing personnel, could delay the development and introduction of, and negatively impact our ability to sell, our products.

If we are unable to develop or acquire new and enhanced products that achieve market acceptance in a timely manner, our operating results and competitive position could be harmed

Our future success will depend on our ability to develop or acquire new products and product enhancements that achieve market acceptance in a timely and cost-effective manner. The development of mixed-signal ICs is highly complex, and we have at times experienced delays in completing the development and introduction of new products and product enhancements. Successful product development and market acceptance of our products depend on a number of factors, including:

Requirements of customers;
Accurate prediction of market and technical requirements;
Timely completion and introduction of new designs;
Timely qualification and certification of our products for use in our customers’ products;
Commercial acceptance and volume production of the products into which our ICs will be incorporated;
Availability of foundry, assembly and test capacity;
Achievement of high manufacturing yields;
Quality, price, performance, power use and size of our products;
Availability, quality, price and performance of competing products and technologies;
Our customer service, application support capabilities and responsiveness;
Successful development of our relationships with existing and potential customers;
Technology, industry standards or end-user preferences; and
Cooperation of third-party software providers and our semiconductor vendors to support our chips within a system.

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We cannot provide any assurance that products which we recently have developed or may develop in the future will achieve market acceptance. We have introduced to market or are in development of many products. If our products fail to achieve market acceptance, or if we fail to develop new products on a timely basis that achieve market acceptance, our growth prospects, operating results and competitive position could be adversely affected. The growth of the IoT market is dependent on the adoption of industry standards to permit devices to connect and communicate with each other. If the industry cannot agree on a common set of standards, then the growth of the IoT market may be slower than expected.

Any acquisitions we make could disrupt our business and harm our financial condition

As part of our growth and product diversification strategy, we continue to evaluate opportunities to acquire other businesses, intellectual property or technologies that would complement our current offerings, expand the breadth of our markets or enhance our technical capabilities. The acquisitions that we have made and may make in the future entail a number of risks that could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results, including:

Problems integrating the acquired operations, technologies or products with our existing business and products;
Diversion of management’s time and attention from our core business;
Need for financial resources above our planned investment levels;
Difficulties in retaining business relationships with suppliers and customers of the acquired company;
Risks associated with entering markets in which we lack prior experience;
Risks associated with the transfer of licenses of intellectual property;
Increased operating costs due to acquired overhead;
Tax issues associated with acquisitions;
Acquisition-related disputes, including disputes over earn-outs and escrows;
Potential loss of key employees of the acquired company; and
Potential impairment of related goodwill and intangible assets.

In particular, the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our ability to complete and integrate any future acquisition into our business is unpredictable and will depend on future developments, including the duration, severity and spread of the pandemic, related restrictions on travel and transportation, and other actions that may be taken by governmental authorities. Future acquisitions also could cause us to incur debt or contingent liabilities or cause us to issue equity securities that could negatively impact the ownership percentages of existing shareholders.

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We may be the victim of business disruptions and security breaches, including cyber-attacks, which could lead to liability or could damage our reputation and financial results

Information technology system and/or network disruptions, regardless of the cause, but including acts of sabotage, error, or other actions, could harm the company’s operations. Failure to effectively prevent, detect, and recover from security breaches, including cyber-attacks, could result in the misuse of company assets, disruption to the company, diversion of management resources, regulatory inquiries, legal claims or proceedings, reputational damage, loss of sales and other costs to the company. We routinely face attacks that attempt to breach our security protocols, gain access to or disrupt our computerized systems or steal proprietary company, customer, partner or employee information. These attacks are sometimes successful. These attacks may be due to security breaches, employee error, theft, malfeasance, phishing schemes, ransomware, faulty password or data security management, or other irregularities. The theft, loss, destruction, unavailability or misuse of personal or business data collected, used, stored or transferred by us to run our business could result in increased security costs or costs related to defending legal claims. Industrial espionage, theft or loss of our intellectual property data could lead to counterfeit products or harm the competitive position of our products and services. Costs to implement, test and maintain measures to promote compliance with applicable privacy and data security laws as well as to protect the overall security of our system could be significant. Attempted or successful attacks against our products and services could damage our reputation with customers or users and reduce demand for our products and services.

Additionally, there is an increased risk that we may experience cybersecurity-related events such as COVID-19 themed phishing attacks and other security challenges as a result of most of our employees and our service providers working remotely from non-corporate managed networks during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and potentially continuing working remotely even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.

Failure to manage our distribution channel relationships could impede our future growth

The future growth of our business will depend in large part on our ability to manage our relationships with current and future distributors and sales representatives, develop additional channels for the distribution and sale of our products and manage these relationships. During fiscal 2020, 78% of our revenue was derived from distributors. As we execute our indirect sales strategy, we must manage the potential conflicts that may arise with our direct sales efforts. For example, conflicts with a distributor may arise when a customer begins purchasing directly from us rather than through the distributor. The inability to successfully execute or manage a multi-channel sales strategy could impede our future growth. In addition, relationships with our distributors often involve the use of price protection and inventory return rights. This often requires a significant amount of sales management’s time and system resources to manage properly. Because we consolidated our distribution relationships to a single global distributor, Arrow Electronics, in fiscal 2018, termination of the relationship with Arrow Electronics, either by us or by Arrow Electronics, could result in a temporary or permanent loss of revenue. If Arrow Electronics fails to effectively market and sell our products in full compliance with applicable laws, or if we are unable to maintain our existing relationship with Arrow Electronics, we may not be able to find a distributor with the scale and resources of Arrow Electronics, maintain existing levels of international revenue or realize expected long-term international revenue growth. We may not be successful in finding suitable alternative global distributors on satisfactory terms, or at all, and this could adversely affect our ability to effectively sell our solutions in certain geographical locations or to certain end customers.

We do not have long-term commitments from our customers

Our customers regularly evaluate alternative sources of supply in order to diversify their supplier base, which increases their negotiating leverage with us and protects their ability to secure these components. We believe that any expansion of our customers' supplier bases could have an adverse effect on the prices we are able to charge and volume of product that we are able to sell to our customers, which would negatively affect our revenues and operating results.

Customers may decide not to purchase our products at all, purchase fewer products than they did in the past, or alter their purchasing patterns, particularly because:

We do not have material long-term purchase contracts with our customers;
Substantially all of our sales to date have been made on a purchase order basis, which permits our customers to cancel, change or delay product purchase commitments with little or no notice to us and without penalty;
Some of our customers may have efforts underway to actively diversify their vendor base which could reduce purchases of our products; and

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Some of our customers have developed or acquired products that compete directly with products these customers purchase from us, which could affect our customers' purchasing decisions in the future.

We are subject to increased inventory risks and costs because we build our products based on forecasts provided by customers before receiving purchase orders for the products

In order to ensure availability of our products for some of our largest customers, we start the manufacturing of our products in advance of receiving purchase orders based on forecasts provided by these customers. However, these forecasts do not represent binding purchase commitments and we do not recognize sales for these products until they are shipped to the customer. As a result, we incur inventory and manufacturing costs in advance of anticipated sales. Because demand for our products may not materialize, manufacturing based on forecasts subjects us to increased risks of high inventory carrying costs, increased obsolescence and increased operating costs. These inventory risks are exacerbated when our customers purchase indirectly through contract manufacturers or hold component inventory levels greater than their consumption rate because this causes us to have less visibility regarding the accumulated levels of inventory for such customers. A resulting write-off of unusable or excess inventories would adversely affect our operating results.

Our products are complex and may contain errors which could lead to liability, an increase in our costs and/or a reduction in our revenues

Our products are complex and may contain errors, particularly when first introduced and/or when new versions are released. Our products are increasingly designed in more complex processes, including higher levels of software and hardware integration in modules and system-level solutions and/or include elements provided by third parties which further increase the risk of errors. We rely primarily on our in-house testing personnel to design test operations and procedures to detect any errors or vulnerabilities prior to delivery of our products to our customers.

Should problems occur in the operation or performance of our products, we may experience delays in meeting key introduction dates or scheduled delivery dates to our customers. These errors could also cause significant re-engineering costs, the diversion of our engineering personnel’s attention from our product development efforts and cause significant customer relations and business reputation problems. Any defects could result in refunds, product replacement, product recall or other liability. Any of the foregoing could impose substantial costs and harm our business.

Product liability, data breach or cyber liability claims may be asserted with respect to our products. Many of our products focus on wireless connectivity and the IoT market and such connectivity may make these products particularly susceptible to cyber-attacks. Our products are typically sold at prices that are significantly lower than the cost of the end-products into which they are incorporated. A defect, failure or vulnerability in our product could cause failure in our customer’s end-product, so we could face claims for damages that are disproportionately higher than the revenues and profits we receive from the products involved. Furthermore, product liability risks are particularly significant with respect to medical and automotive applications because of the risk of serious harm to users of these end-products. There can be no assurance that any insurance we maintain will sufficiently protect us from such claims.

We may be subject to information technology failures that could damage our reputation, business operations and financial condition

We rely on information technology for the effective operation of our business. Our systems are subject to damage or interruption from a number of potential sources, including natural disasters, accidents, power disruptions, telecommunications failures, acts of terrorism or war, computer viruses, theft, physical or electronic break-ins, cyber-attacks, sabotage, vandalism, or similar events or disruptions. Our security measures may not detect or prevent such security breaches. Any such compromise of our information security could result in the theft or unauthorized publication or use of our confidential business or proprietary information, result in the unauthorized release of customer, supplier or employee data, result in a violation of privacy or other laws, expose us to a risk of litigation or damage our reputation. In addition, our inability to use or access information systems at critical points in time could unfavorably impact the timely and efficient operation of our business, which could negatively affect our business and operating results.

Third parties with which we conduct business, such as foundries, assembly and test contractors, distributors and customers, have access to certain portions of our sensitive data. In the event that these third parties do not properly safeguard our data that they hold, security breaches could result and negatively impact our reputation, business operations and financial results. Additionally, a successful cyber-attack against one of these third-parties’ information technology systems may disrupt our supply chain.

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Our customers require our products to undergo a lengthy and expensive qualification process without any assurance of product sales

Prior to purchasing our products, our customers require that our products undergo an extensive qualification process, which involves testing of the products in the customer’s system as well as rigorous reliability testing. This qualification process may continue for six months or longer. However, qualification of a product by a customer does not ensure any sales of the product to that customer. Even after successful qualification and sales of a product to a customer, a subsequent revision to the product or software, changes in the IC’s manufacturing process or the selection of a new supplier by us may require a new qualification process, which may result in delays and in us holding excess or obsolete inventory. After our products are qualified, it can take an additional six months or more before the customer commences volume production of components or devices that incorporate our products. Despite these uncertainties, we devote substantial resources, including design, engineering, sales, marketing and management efforts, toward qualifying our products with customers in anticipation of sales. If we are unsuccessful or delayed in qualifying any of our products with a customer, such failure or delay would preclude or delay sales of such product to the customer, which may impede our growth and cause our business to suffer.

Our inability to manage growth could materially and adversely affect our business

Our past growth has placed, and any future growth of our operations will continue to place, a significant strain on our management personnel, systems and resources. We anticipate that we will need to implement a variety of new and upgraded sales, operational and financial enterprise-wide systems, information technology infrastructure, procedures and controls, including the improvement of our accounting and other internal management systems to manage this growth and maintain compliance with regulatory guidelines, including Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements. To the extent our business grows, our internal management systems and processes will need to improve to ensure that we remain in compliance. We also expect that we will need to continue to expand, train, manage and motivate our workforce. All of these endeavors will require substantial management effort, and we anticipate that we will require additional management personnel and internal processes to manage these efforts and to plan for the succession from time to time of certain persons who have been key management and technical personnel. If we are unable to effectively manage our expanding global operations, including our international headquarters in Singapore, our business could be materially and adversely affected.

We are subject to risks relating to product concentration

We derive a substantial portion of our revenues from a limited number of products, and we expect these products to continue to account for a large percentage of our revenues in the near term. Continued market acceptance of these products, is therefore, critical to our future success. In addition, substantially all of our products that we have sold include technology related to one or more of our issued U.S. patents. If these patents are found to be invalid or unenforceable, our competitors could introduce competitive products that could reduce both the volume and price per unit of our products. Our business, operating results, financial condition and cash flows could therefore be adversely affected by:

A decline in demand for any of our more significant products;
Failure of our products to achieve continued market acceptance;
Competitive products;
New technological standards or changes to existing standards that we are unable to address with our products;
A failure to release new products or enhanced versions of our existing products on a timely basis; and
The failure of our new products to achieve market acceptance.

Any dispositions could harm our financial condition

Any disposition of a product line would entail a number of risks that could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results, including:

Diversion of management’s time and attention from our core business;
Difficulties separating the divested business;

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Risks to relations with customers who previously purchased products from our disposed product line;
Reduced leverage with suppliers due to reduced aggregate volume;
Risks related to employee relations;
Risks associated with the transfer and licensing of intellectual property;
Security risks and other liabilities related to the transition services provided in connection with the disposition;
Tax issues associated with dispositions; and
Disposition-related disputes, including disputes over earn-outs and escrows.

Most of our current manufacturers, assemblers, test service providers, distributors and customers are concentrated in the same geographic region, which increases the risk that a natural disaster, epidemic, labor strike, war or political unrest could disrupt our operations or sales

Most of our foundries and several of our assembly and test subcontractors’ sites are located in Taiwan and most of our other foundry, assembly and test subcontractors are located in the Pacific Rim region. In addition, many of our customers are located in the Pacific Rim region. The risk of earthquakes in Taiwan and the Pacific Rim region is significant due to the proximity of major earthquake fault lines in the area. Earthquakes, tsunamis, fire, flooding, lack of water or other natural disasters, an epidemic such as the current COVID-19 outbreak, political unrest, war, labor strikes or work stoppages in countries where our semiconductor manufacturers, assemblers and test subcontractors are located, likely would result in the disruption of our foundry, assembly or test capacity. There can be no assurance that alternate capacity could be obtained on favorable terms, if at all.

A natural disaster, epidemic, labor strike, war or political unrest where our customers’ facilities are located would likely reduce our sales to such customers. In addition, a significant portion of the assembly and testing of our products occurs in South Korea. Any disruption resulting from these events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, could also cause significant delays in shipments of our products until we are able to shift our manufacturing, assembling or testing from the affected subcontractor to another third-party vendor. If the COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress in ways that significantly disrupt the manufacture, shipment and sales of our products or the products of our customers, this may materially negatively impact our operating results for subsequent periods. For example, if the travel restrictions or business shutdowns or slowdowns continue for an extended period of time in Taiwan, South Korea or the other countries in which our current manufacturers, assemblers, test service providers, distributors and customers are located, we may experience delays in product production, a decreased ability to support our customers, reduced design win activity, and overall lack of productivity. Our customers may also experience closures of their manufacturing facilities or inability to obtain other components, either of which could negatively impact demand for our solutions.

The semiconductor manufacturing process is highly complex and, from time to time, manufacturing yields may fall below our expectations, which could result in our inability to satisfy demand for our products in a timely manner and may decrease our gross profit due to higher unit costs

The manufacturing of our products is a highly complex and technologically demanding process. Although we work closely with our foundries and assemblers to minimize the likelihood of reduced manufacturing yields, we have from time to time experienced lower than anticipated manufacturing yields. Changes in manufacturing processes or the inadvertent use of defective or contaminated materials could result in lower than anticipated manufacturing yields or unacceptable performance deficiencies, which could lower our gross profit. If our foundries fail to deliver fabricated silicon wafers of satisfactory quality in a timely manner, we will be unable to meet our customers’ demand for our products in a timely manner, which would adversely affect our operating results and damage our customer relationships.

We depend on our customers to support our products, and some of our customers offer competing products

We rely on our customers to provide hardware, software, intellectual property indemnification and other technical support for the products supplied by our customers. If our customers do not provide the required functionality or if our customers do not provide satisfactory support for their products, the demand for these devices that incorporate our products may diminish or we may otherwise be materially adversely affected. Any reduction in the demand for these devices would significantly reduce our revenues.

In certain products, some of our customers offer their own competitive products. These customers may find it advantageous to support their own offerings in the marketplace in lieu of promoting our products.

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We have limited resources compared to some of our current and potential competitors and we may not be able to compete effectively and increase market share

Some of our current and potential competitors have longer operating histories, significantly greater resources and name recognition and a larger base of customers than we have. As a result, these competitors may have greater credibility with our existing and potential customers. They also may be able to adopt more aggressive pricing policies and devote greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of their products than we can to ours. In addition, some of our current and potential competitors have already established supplier or joint development relationships with the decision makers at our current or potential customers. These competitors may be able to leverage their existing relationships to discourage their customers from purchasing products from us or persuade them to replace our products with their products. Our competitors may also offer bundled solutions offering a more complete product despite the technical merits or advantages of our products. These competitors may elect not to support our products which could complicate our sales efforts. We also face increased competition as a result of China actively promoting its domestic semiconductor industry through policy changes and investment. These actions, as well as China-U.S. trade barriers, may restrict our participation in the China market or may prevent us from competing effectively with Chinese companies or companies from other countries that China favors over the United States. Furthermore, our current or potential competitors may be acquired by third parties with greater available resources and the ability to initiate or withstand substantial price competition, which may include price concessions, delayed payment terms, financing terms, or other terms and conditions that are more enticing to potential customers. These and other competitive pressures may prevent us from competing successfully against current or future competitors, and may materially harm our business. Competition could decrease our prices, reduce our sales, lower our gross profit and/or decrease our market share.

Changes in the Privacy and Data Security/Protection Laws Could Have an Adverse Effect on our Operations

Federal, state and international privacy-related or data protection laws and regulations could have an adverse effect on our operations. Complying with these laws and the possibility of proceedings against us by governmental entities or others in relation to these laws could increase operational costs. In May 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) went into effect, replacing the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive. The costs of compliance with the GDPR and the potential for fines and penalties in the event of a breach of the GDPR may have an adverse effect on our operations.

Our products must conform to industry standards and technology in order to be accepted by end users in our markets

Generally, our products comprise only a part of a device. All components of such devices must uniformly comply with industry standards in order to operate efficiently together. We depend on companies that provide other components of the devices to support prevailing industry standards. Many of these companies are significantly larger and more influential in affecting industry standards than we are. Some industry standards may not be widely adopted or implemented uniformly, and competing standards may emerge that may be preferred by our customers or end users. If larger companies do not support the same industry standards that we do, or if competing standards emerge, market acceptance of our products could be adversely affected which would harm our business.

Products for certain applications are based on industry standards that are continually evolving. Our ability to compete in the future will depend on our ability to identify and ensure compliance with these evolving industry standards. The emergence of new industry standards could render our products incompatible with products developed by other suppliers. As a result, we could be required to invest significant time and effort and to incur significant expense to redesign our products to ensure compliance with relevant standards. If our products are not in compliance with prevailing industry standards for a significant period of time, we could miss opportunities to achieve crucial design wins. For example, the IoT market is relatively new and is continuously evolving. Furthermore, products in the IoT market frequently require interoperability across multiple standards. We may need to adjust our portfolio to meet the needs of this evolving market through acquisitions or significant new investments in research and development.

Our pursuit of necessary technological advances may require substantial time and expense. We may not be successful in developing or using new technologies or in developing new products or product enhancements that achieve market acceptance. If our products fail to achieve market acceptance, our growth prospects, operating results and competitive position could be adversely affected.

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Intellectual Property Risks

Significant litigation over intellectual property in our industry may cause us to become involved in costly and lengthy litigation which could adversely affect our business

The semiconductor and software industries have experienced significant litigation involving patents and other intellectual property rights. From time to time, third parties, including non-practicing entities, allege intellectual property infringement by our products, our customers’ products, or products using technologies or communications standards used in our industry. We also receive communications from customers or suppliers requesting indemnification for allegations brought against them by third parties. Some of these allegations have resulted, and may result in the future, in our involvement in litigation. We have certain contractual obligations to defend and indemnify our customers from certain infringement claims. We also have been involved in litigation to protect our intellectual property rights in the past and may become involved in such litigation again in the future.

Given the unpredictable nature of litigation and the complexity of the technology, we may not prevail in any such litigation. Legal proceedings could subject us to significant liability, invalidate our proprietary rights, or harm our businesses and our ability to compete. Legal proceedings initiated by us to protect our intellectual property rights could also result in counterclaims or countersuits against us. Any litigation, regardless of its outcome or merit, could be time-consuming and expensive to resolve and could divert our management’s time and attention. Intellectual property litigation also could force us to take specific actions, including:

Cease using, selling or manufacturing certain products, services or processes;
Attempt to obtain a license, which license may require the payment of substantial royalties or may not be available on reasonable terms or at all;
Incur significant costs, time delays and lost business opportunities to develop alternative technologies or redesign products; or
Pursue legal remedies with third parties to enforce our indemnification rights, which may not adequately protect our interests.

We may be unable to protect our intellectual property, which would negatively affect our ability to compete

Our products rely on our proprietary technology, and we expect that future technological advances made by us will be critical to sustain market acceptance of our products. Therefore, we believe that the protection of our intellectual property rights is and will continue to be important to the success of our business. We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws and restrictions on disclosure to protect our intellectual property rights. We also enter into confidentiality or license agreements with our employees, consultants, intellectual property providers and business partners, and control access to and distribution of our documentation and other proprietary information. Despite these efforts, unauthorized parties may attempt to copy or otherwise obtain and use our proprietary technology. Monitoring unauthorized use of our technology is difficult, and we cannot be certain that the steps we have taken will prevent unauthorized use of our technology, particularly in foreign countries where the laws may not protect our proprietary rights as fully as in the United States. We cannot be certain that patents will be issued as a result of our pending applications nor can we be certain that any issued patents would protect or benefit us or give us adequate protection from competing products. For example, issued patents may be circumvented or challenged and declared invalid or unenforceable. We also cannot be certain that others will not develop effective competing technologies on their own.

Our products incorporate technology licensed from third parties

We incorporate technology (including software) licensed from third parties in our products. We could be subjected to claims of infringement regardless of our lack of involvement in the development of the licensed technology. Although a third-party licensor is typically obligated to indemnify us if the licensed technology infringes on another party’s intellectual property rights, such indemnification is typically limited in amount and may be worthless if the licensor becomes insolvent. See Significant litigation over intellectual property in our industry may cause us to become involved in costly and lengthy litigation which could seriously harm our business. Furthermore, any failure of third-party technology to perform properly would adversely affect sales of our products incorporating such technology.

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Liquidity and Credit Risks

We are subject to credit risks related to our accounts receivable

We do not generally obtain letters of credit or other security for payment from customers, distributors or contract manufacturers. Accordingly, we are not protected against accounts receivable default or bankruptcy by these entities. Our ten largest customers or distributors represent a substantial majority of our accounts receivable. If any such customer or distributor, or a material portion of our smaller customers or distributors, were to become insolvent or otherwise not satisfy their obligations to us, we could be materially harmed.

Our convertible senior notes could adversely affect our operating results and financial condition

Upon conversion, our convertible senior notes may be settled in cash, shares of our common stock or a combination of cash and shares, at our election. We intend to settle the principal amount of the notes in cash. If we do not have adequate cash available, we may not be able to settle the principal amount in cash. In such case, we will be required to settle the principal amount in stock, which would result in immediate, and likely material, dilution to the ownership interests of our existing stockholders. Any sales in the public market of our common stock issuable upon such conversion could adversely affect prevailing market prices of our common stock.

Following any conclusion that we no longer have the ability to settle the convertible senior notes in cash, we will be required on a going forward basis to change our accounting policy for earnings per share from the treasury stock method to the if-converted method. Earnings per share may be lower under the if-converted method as compared to the treasury stock method.

The principal balance of the convertible senior notes was separated into liability and equity components, which were recorded initially at fair value. The excess of the principal amount of the liability component over its carrying amount represents the debt discount, which is accreted to interest expense over the term of the notes using the effective interest method. Accordingly, we will report higher interest expense because of the recognition of both the debt discount amortization and the notes’ coupon interest.

On January 6, 2021, we issued a notice of redemption for the remaining $140.6 million principal amount of our 2022 convertible senior notes. The redemption will occur on March 22, 2021, unless earlier converted.

Our debt could adversely affect our operations and financial condition

We believe we have the ability to service our debt, but our ability to make the required payments thereunder when due depends upon our future performance, which will be subject to general economic conditions, industry cycles and other factors affecting our operations, including risk factors described herein, such as the potential implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which are beyond our control. Our credit facility also contains covenants, including financial covenants. If we breach any of the covenants under our credit facility and do not obtain appropriate waivers, then, subject to any applicable cure periods, our outstanding indebtedness thereunder could be declared immediately due and payable.

We could seek to raise additional debt or equity capital in the future, but additional capital may not be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all

We believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents, investments and credit under our credit facility will be sufficient to meet our working capital needs, capital expenditures, investment requirements and commitments for at least the next 12 months. However, our ability to borrow further under the credit facility is dependent upon our ability to satisfy various conditions, covenants and representations. It is possible that we may need to raise additional funds to finance our activities or to facilitate acquisitions of other businesses, products, intellectual property or technologies. We believe we could raise these funds, if needed, by selling equity or debt securities to the public or to selected investors. In addition, even though we may not need additional funds, we may still elect to sell additional equity or debt securities or obtain credit facilities for other reasons. However, we may not be able to obtain additional funds on favorable terms, or at all, particularly during financial market instability related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If we decide to raise additional funds by issuing equity or convertible debt securities, the ownership percentages of existing shareholders would be reduced.

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Stock and Governance Risks

Our stock price may be volatile

The market price of our common stock has been volatile in the past and may be volatile in the future. The market price of our common stock may be significantly affected by the following factors:

Actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results;
Changes in financial estimates by securities analysts or our failure to perform in line with such estimates;
Changes in market valuations of other technology companies, particularly semiconductor companies;
Announcements by us or our competitors of significant technical innovations, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments;
Introduction of technologies or product enhancements that reduce the need for our products;
The loss of, or decrease in sales to, one or more key customers;
A large sale of stock by a significant shareholder;
Dilution from the issuance of our stock in connection with acquisitions;
The addition or removal of our stock to or from a stock index fund;
Departures of key personnel;
The required expensing of stock awards; and
The required changes in our reported revenue and revenue recognition accounting policy under ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers.

The stock market has experienced extreme volatility that often has been unrelated to the performance of particular companies. These market fluctuations may cause our stock price to fall regardless of our performance.

Provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law could prevent, delay or impede a change in control of us and may reduce the market price of our common stock

Provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a merger or acquisition that a stockholder may consider favorable. For example, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws provide for:

The division of our Board of Directors into three classes to be elected on a staggered basis, one class each year;
The ability of our Board of Directors to issue shares of our preferred stock in one or more series without further authorization of our stockholders;
A prohibition on stockholder action by written consent;
Elimination of the right of stockholders to call a special meeting of stockholders;
A requirement that stockholders provide advance notice of any stockholder nominations of directors or any proposal of new business to be considered at any meeting of stockholders; and
A requirement that a supermajority vote be obtained to amend or repeal certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation.

We also are subject to the anti-takeover laws of Delaware which may discourage, delay or prevent someone from acquiring or merging with us, which may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

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Item 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2.    Properties

Our corporate headquarters, housing engineering, sales and marketing, administration and test operations, is located in Austin, Texas. Our headquarters facilities consist of two buildings, which we own, that are located on land which we have leased through 2099. The buildings contain approximately 441,000 square feet of floor space, of which approximately 87,000 square feet were leased to other tenants. In addition to these properties, we lease smaller facilities in various locations in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom for engineering, sales and marketing, administrative and manufacturing support activities. We believe that these facilities are suitable and adequate to meet our current operating needs.

Item 3.    Legal Proceedings

Information regarding legal proceedings is provided in Note 12, Commitments and Contingencies, to the Consolidated Financial Statements. Such information is incorporated by reference herein.

Item 4.    Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

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Part II

Item 5.    Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information and Holders

Our registration statement (Registration No. 333-94853) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, relating to our initial public offering of our common stock became effective on March 23, 2000. Our common stock is quoted on the NASDAQ National Market (NASDAQ) under the symbol “SLAB”. As of January 25, 2021, there were 66 holders of record of our common stock.

Dividend Policy

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock and we currently do not intend to pay cash dividends. We currently expect to retain any future earnings to fund the operation and expansion of our business.

Stock Performance Graph

The graph depicted below shows a comparison of cumulative total stockholder returns for an investment in Silicon Laboratories Inc. common stock, the NASDAQ Composite Index and the PHLX Semiconductor Index.

Graphic

Company / Index

    

01/02/16

    

12/31/16

    

12/30/17

    

12/29/18

    

12/28/19

    

01/02/21

Silicon Laboratories Inc.

$

100.00

$

133.91

$

181.91

$

161.72

$

240.05

$

262.34

NASDAQ Composite Index

$

100.00

$

108.87

$

141.13

$

136.06

$

188.13

$

271.64

PHLX Semiconductor Index

$

100.00

$

139.32

$

195.80

$

182.72

$

301.80

$

461.53

(1)The graph assumes that $100 was invested in our common stock and in each index at the market close on January 2, 2016, and that all dividends were reinvested. No cash dividends have been declared on our common stock.
(2)Stockholder returns over the indicated period should not be considered indicative of future stockholder returns.

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Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

There were no repurchases of our common stock during the three months ended January 2, 2021.

Item 6.    Selected Financial Data

Please read this selected consolidated financial data in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” our Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes to those statements included in this Form 10-K.

Fiscal Year

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018 (1)

    

2017

    

2016

(in thousands, except per share data)

Consolidated Statements of Income Data

    

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Revenues

$

886,677

$

837,554

$

868,267

$

768,867

$

697,626

Operating income

$

38,300

$

56,697

$

85,208

$

84,974

$

66,277

Net income

$

12,531

$

19,265

$

83,591

$

47,092

$

61,494

Earnings per share:

    

 

 

 

  

 

  

 

  

Basic

$

0.29

$

0.44

$

1.94

$

1.11

$

1.47

Diluted

$

0.28

$

0.43

$

1.90

$

1.09

$

1.45

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data

    

 

 

 

  

 

  

 

  

Cash, cash equivalents and investments

$

730,023

$

731,618

$

619,581

$

769,704

$

300,263

Working capital

 

691,323

 

806,158

 

681,793

 

785,317

 

351,156

Total assets

 

1,993,487

 

1,674,853

 

1,624,354

 

1,535,082

 

1,081,844

Long‑term obligations

 

509,148

 

422,101

 

412,219

 

419,741

 

115,191

Total stockholders’ equity

 

1,199,841

 

1,115,051

 

1,067,290

 

953,016

 

826,958

(1)In fiscal 2018, we adopted Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. We elected the modified retrospective method of adoption. Periods prior to fiscal 2018 have not been adjusted.

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Item 7.    Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this report. This discussion contains forward-looking statements. Please see the “Cautionary Statement” and “Risk Factors” above for discussions of the uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with these statements. Our fiscal year-end financial reporting periods are a 52- or 53-week fiscal year that ends on the Saturday closest to December 31. Fiscal 2020 was a 53-week year with the extra week occurring in the first quarter of the year and ended on January 2, 2021. Fiscal 2019 and 2018 were 52-week years and ended on December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018, respectively.

Impact of COVID-19

A new strain of novel coronavirus which causes a severe respiratory disease (“COVID-19”) was identified in 2019, and subsequently declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. We implemented a response plan and continued operations while largely transitioning our global workforce to a remote work model. The third parties that perform our semiconductor manufacturing, assembly, packaging and testing have generally remained operational. The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operational and financial performance will depend on future developments, including the duration, severity and spread of the pandemic, related restrictions on travel and transportation and other actions that may be taken by governmental authorities, the impact to the business of our suppliers or customers, and other items identified under “Risk Factors” above, all of which are uncertain and cannot be predicted. An extended period of global supply chain and economic disruption could materially affect our business, results of operations, access to sources of liquidity and financial condition.

Overview

We are a leading provider of silicon, software and solutions for a smarter, more connected world. Our award-winning technologies are shaping the future of the Internet of Things (IoT), internet infrastructure, industrial automation, consumer and automotive markets. Our world-class engineering team creates products focused on performance, energy savings, connectivity and simplicity. Our primary semiconductor products are mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs), which are electronic components that convert real-world analog signals, such as sound and radio waves, into digital signals that electronic products can process.

As a fabless semiconductor company, we rely on third-party semiconductor fabricators in Asia, and to a lesser extent the United States and Europe, to manufacture the silicon wafers that reflect our IC designs. Each wafer contains numerous die, which are cut from the wafer to create a chip for an IC. We rely on third parties in Asia to assemble, package, and, in most cases, test these devices and ship these units to our customers. Testing performed by such third parties facilitates faster delivery of products to our customers (particularly those located in Asia), shorter production cycle times, lower inventory requirements, lower costs and increased flexibility of test capacity.

Our expertise in analog-intensive, high-performance, mixed-signal ICs and software enables us to develop highly differentiated solutions that address multiple markets. We group our products into the following categories:

Internet of Things products, which include wireless connectivity, microcontroller (MCU) and sensor products; and
Infrastructure and automotive products, which include timing products (clocks and oscillators); power products (isolation and Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices); broadcast products (consumer and automotive radio devices); and access products (Voice over IP (VoIP) products and embedded modems).

We have combined our previous product groups, Infrastructure, Broadcast and Access, into the Infrastructure and automotive product group. Prior periods were retrospectively adjusted.

The sales cycle for our ICs can be as long as 12 months or more. An additional three to six months or more are usually required before a customer ships a significant volume of devices that incorporate our ICs. Due to this lengthy sales cycle, we typically experience a significant delay between incurring research and development and selling, general and administrative expenses, and the corresponding sales. Consequently, if sales in any quarter do not occur when expected, expenses and inventory levels could be disproportionately high, and our operating results for that quarter and, potentially, future quarters would be adversely affected. Moreover, the amount of time between initial research and development and commercialization of a product, if ever, can be substantially longer than the sales cycle for the product. Accordingly, if we incur substantial research and development costs without developing a commercially successful product, our operating results, as well as our growth prospects, could be adversely affected.

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Because some of our ICs are designed for use in consumer products such as televisions, set-top boxes and radios, we expect that the demand for our products will be typically subject to some degree of seasonal demand. However, rapid changes in our markets and across our product areas make it difficult for us to accurately estimate the impact of seasonal factors on our business.

Current Period Highlights

Revenues increased $49.1 million in fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019 due to increased revenues from both our IoT products and Infrastructure and automotive products. Gross profit increased $17.2 million during the same period due primarily to increased product sales. Gross margin decreased to 59.5% in fiscal 2020 compared to 60.9% in fiscal 2019 primarily due to variations in product mix. Operating expenses increased $35.6 million in fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019 due primarily to increased personnel-related expenses, new product introduction costs, amortization of intangible assets and occupancy costs. Operating income in fiscal 2020 was $38.3 million compared to $56.7 million in fiscal 2019.

We ended fiscal 2020 with $724.7 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. Net cash provided by operating activities was $135.7 million during fiscal 2020. Accounts receivable were $95.2 million at January 2, 2021, representing 35 days sales outstanding (DSO). Inventory was $66.7 million at January 2, 2021, representing 59 days of inventory (DOI). In fiscal 2020, we repurchased 0.2 million shares of our common stock for $16.3 million.

Through acquisitions and internal development efforts, we have continued to diversify our product portfolio and introduce new products and solutions with added functionality and further integration. On April 28, 2020, we acquired the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth business of Redpine Signals for approximately $317 million in cash. We believe the acquisition will accelerate our roadmap for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth silicon and software solutions.

In fiscal 2020, we introduced a Z-Wave Long Range (LR) solution enabling one mile connectivity for Z-Wave 700 Series products; highly integrated modules designed to simplify implementation of IEEE 1588 in communications, smart grid, financial trading and industrial applications; new isolated gate drivers that cut latency by 50 percent while significantly increasing transient immunity; new small form-factor, high-performance crystal oscillators (XOs) and voltage-controlled crystal oscillators (VCXOs) for applications that require low jitter and frequency-flexible clock synthesis; a Bluetooth Low Energy system-in-package (SiP) that adds turnkey Bluetooth connectivity to extremely small products; a major upgrade to our Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) with the launch of Simplicity Studio 5; energy-friendly power management ICs (PMICs) that enhance the energy efficiency of battery-powered applications; a Power over Ethernet (PoE) portfolio that reduces the cost and complexity of adding 90 W PoE to power sourcing equipment (PSE) and powered devices (PD); Secure Vault technology, an award-winning suite of state-of-the-art security with features designed to help connected device manufacturers address escalating IoT security threats and regulatory pressures; secure, proprietary wireless system-on-chip (SoC) devices designed for power- and size-constrained IoT products such as electronic shelf labels; secure, ultra-low-power SoCs optimized for Zigbee Green Power applications powered by coin cell batteries or energy-harvesting sources; and a Bluetooth SoC solution delivering a combination of security features, wireless performance, energy efficiency, and software tools and stacks to meet the market demand for high-volume, battery-powered IoT products. We plan to continue to introduce products that increase the content we provide for existing applications, thereby enabling us to serve markets we do not currently address and expand our total available market opportunity.

During fiscal 2020, 2019 and 2018, we had no customer that represented more than 10% of our revenues. In addition to direct sales to customers, some of our end customers purchase products indirectly from us through distributors and contract manufacturers. An end customer purchasing through a contract manufacturer typically instructs such contract manufacturer to obtain our products and incorporate such products with other components for sale by such contract manufacturer to the end customer. Although we actually sell the products to, and are paid by, the distributors and contract manufacturers, we refer to such end customer as our customer. Three of our distributors who sell to our customers, Arrow Electronics, Edom Technology and Sekorm, each represented 26%, 22% and 11% of our revenues during fiscal 2020, respectively. Arrow and Edom, each represented 26% and 20% of our revenues during fiscal 2019, and 21% and 17% of our revenues during fiscal 2018, respectively.

The percentage of our revenues derived from outside of the United States was 90% in fiscal 2020, 87% in fiscal 2019 and 83% in fiscal 2018. All of our revenues to date have been denominated in U.S. dollars. We believe that a majority of our revenues will continue to be derived from customers outside of the United States.

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Results of Operations

The following describes the line items set forth in our Consolidated Statements of Income:

Revenues. Revenues are generated predominately by sales of our products. Our revenues are subject to variation from period to period due to the volume of shipments made within a period, the mix of products we sell and the prices we charge for our products.

Cost of Revenues. Cost of revenues includes the cost of purchasing finished silicon wafers processed by independent foundries; costs associated with assembly, test and shipping of those products; costs of personnel and equipment associated with manufacturing support, logistics and quality assurance; costs of software royalties, other intellectual property license costs and certain acquired intangible assets; and an allocated portion of our occupancy costs. Our gross margin fluctuates depending on product mix, manufacturing yields, inventory valuation adjustments, average selling prices and other factors.

Research and Development. Research and development expense consists primarily of personnel-related expenses, including stock-based compensation, as well as new product masks, external consulting and services costs, equipment tooling, equipment depreciation, amortization of intangible assets and an allocated portion of our occupancy costs. Research and development activities include the design of new products, refinement of existing products and design of test methodologies to ensure compliance with required specifications.

Selling, General and Administrative. Selling, general and administrative expense consists primarily of personnel-related expenses, including stock-based compensation, as well as an allocated portion of our occupancy costs, sales commissions to independent sales representatives, amortization of intangible assets, professional fees, legal fees, and promotional and marketing expenses.

Interest Income and Other, Net. Interest income and other, net reflects interest earned on our cash, cash equivalents and investment balances, foreign currency remeasurement adjustments, income or loss on equity method investments, and other non-operating income and expenses.

Interest Expense. Interest expense consists of interest on our short and long-term obligations, including our convertible senior notes and credit facility. Interest expense on our convertible senior notes includes contractual interest, amortization of the debt discount and amortization of debt issuance costs.

Provision (Benefit) for Income Taxes. Provision (benefit) for income taxes includes both domestic and foreign income taxes at the applicable tax rates adjusted for non-deductible expenses, research and development tax credits and other permanent differences.

The following table sets forth our Consolidated Statements of Income data as a percentage of revenues for the periods indicated:

Fiscal Year

    

2020

    

2019

    

2018

 

Revenues

100.0

%  

100.0

%  

100.0

%

Cost of revenues

40.5

 

39.1

 

39.9

Gross margin

59.5

 

60.9

 

60.1

Operating expenses:

 

 

  

Research and development

32.5

 

30.7

 

27.5

Selling, general and administrative

22.7

 

23.4

 

22.8

Operating expenses

55.2

 

54.1

 

50.3

Operating income

4.3

 

6.8

 

9.8

Other income (expense):

 

 

  

Interest income and other, net

1.3

 

1.5

 

0.8

Interest expense

(3.9)

 

(2.4)

 

(2.3)

Income before income taxes

1.7

 

5.9

 

8.3

Provision (benefit) for income taxes

0.3

 

3.6

 

(1.3)

Net income

1.4

%  

2.3

%  

9.6

%

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Comparison of Fiscal 2020 to Fiscal 2019

Revenues

Fiscal Year

 

(in millions)

    

2020

    

2019

    

Change

    

% Change

 

Internet of Things

$

513.7

$

488.2

$

25.5

 

5.2

%

Infrastructure and automotive

 

373.0

 

349.4

 

23.6

 

6.8

%

Total

$

886.7

$

837.6

$

49.1

 

5.9

%

The change in revenues in fiscal 2020 was due to:

Increased revenues of $25.5 million for our IoT products, due primarily to increased demand for our MCU products and wireless connectivity products and the addition of revenues from an acquisition.
Increased revenues of $23.6 million for our Infrastructure and automotive products, due primarily to increased demand for our power and timing products.

The increase in revenues in fiscal 2020 was also due to an adjustment of $11.9 million resulting from a change in the assumptions used to estimate variable consideration. Unit volumes of our products increased by 13.8% and average selling prices decreased by 6.7% compared to fiscal 2019. The average selling prices of our products may fluctuate significantly from period to period due to changes in product mix and other factors. In general, as our products become more mature, we expect to experience decreases in average selling prices. We anticipate that newly announced, higher priced, next generation products and product derivatives will offset some of these decreases.

Gross Profit

Fiscal Year

 

(in millions)

    

2020

    

2019

    

Change

 

Gross profit

$

527.5

$

510.3

$

17.2

Gross margin

 

59.5

%  

 

60.9

%  

 

(1.4)

%

Gross profit increased in fiscal 2020 due primarily to increased product sales. The change in gross profit in fiscal 2020 was due to an increase in gross profit of $11.7 million for our Infrastructure and automotive products and $5.5 million for our Internet of Things products. Gross margin decreased in fiscal 2020 primarily due to lower gross margins on our IoT products. Gross margin declines resulted primarily from lower average selling prices on such products in fiscal 2020.

We may experience declines in the average selling prices of certain of our products. This creates downward pressure on gross margin and may be offset to the extent we are able to introduce higher margin new products and gain market share with our products; reduce costs of existing products through improved design; achieve lower production costs from our wafer suppliers and third-party assembly and test subcontractors; achieve lower production costs per unit as a result of improved yields throughout the manufacturing process; or reduce logistics costs.

Research and Development

Fiscal Year

 

(in millions)

    

2020

    

2019

    

Change

    

% Change

 

Research and development

$

287.9

$

257.2

$

30.7

 

12.0

%

Percent of revenue

 

32.5

%  

 

30.7

%  

 

  

 

  

The increase in research and development expense in fiscal 2020 was primarily due to increases of $18.5 million for personnel-related expenses, including costs associated with increased headcount and an acquisition, $5.5 million for new product introduction costs, $3.7 million for the amortization of intangible assets and $1.0 million for occupancy costs. We expect that research and development expense will increase in absolute dollars in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Selling, General and Administrative

Fiscal Year

 

(in millions)

    

2020

    

2019

    

Change

    

% Change

 

Selling, general and administrative

$

201.3

$

196.4

$

4.9

 

2.5

%

Percent of revenue

 

22.7

%  

 

23.4

%  

 

  

 

  

The increase in selling, general and administrative expense in fiscal 2020 was primarily due to an increase of $4.4 million for personnel-related expenses, including costs associated with increased headcount. We expect that selling, general and administrative expense will remain relatively stable in absolute dollars in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.

Interest Income and Other, Net

Interest income and other, net in fiscal 2020 was $11.1 million compared to $13.2 million in fiscal 2019. The decrease in interest income and other, net in fiscal 2020 was primarily due to lower interest rates on the underlying instruments, offset by a net gain of $1.8 million recorded in connection an equity investment.

Interest Expense

Interest expense in fiscal 2020 was $34.1 million compared to $20.2 million in fiscal 2019. The increase in interest expense in fiscal 2020 was primarily due to a net increase of $8.0 million in interest resulting from an increase in the aggregate balance of notes outstanding and a loss of $4.1 million recorded on the early extinguishment of a portion of the 2022 Notes.

Provision (Benefit) for Income Taxes

Fiscal Year

(in millions)

    

2020

    

2019

    

Change

Provision (benefit) for income taxes

$

2.8

$

30.4

$

(27.6)

Effective tax rate

 

18.1

%  

 

61.2

%  

 

  

The decrease in the effective tax rate for fiscal 2020 as compared to fiscal 2019 was primarily due to the impact in fiscal 2019 of a change in our position related to the treatment of stock-based compensation within our intercompany cost-sharing arrangement offset by the increased impact of fiscal 2020 permanent tax differences. The incremental, discrete income tax expense recognized in fiscal 2019 for the cost-sharing change was $27.2 million.

The effective tax rates for each of the periods presented differ from the U.S. federal statutory tax rates of 21% due to the amount of income earned in foreign jurisdictions where the tax rate may be higher or lower than the federal statutory tax rate, and other permanent items including research and development tax credits, the tax effects of stock-based compensation and global intangible low-tax income (“GILTI”).

Comparison of Fiscal 2019 to Fiscal 2018

A discussion of changes in our results of operations from fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2019 has been omitted from this Form 10-K, but may be found in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 29, 2020.

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Business Outlook

The following represents our business outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Income Statement Item

    

Estimate

Revenues

$237 million to $247 million

Gross margin

58.1%

Operating expenses

$126 million

Effective tax rate

0.0%

Diluted earnings per share

$0.05 to $0.15

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Our principal sources of liquidity as of January 2, 2021 consisted of $724.7 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, of which approximately $572.8 million was held by our U.S. entities. The remaining balance was held by our foreign subsidiaries. Our cash equivalents and short-term investments consisted of government debt securities, which include agency bonds, municipal bonds, variable-rate demand notes, U.S. Treasury bills and U.S. government securities; corporate debt securities, which include asset-backed securities, corporate bonds, certificates of deposit and commercial paper; and money market funds. Our long-term investments consisted of auction-rate securities.

Operating Activities

Net cash provided by operating activities was $135.7 million during fiscal 2020, compared to net cash provided of $166.5 million during fiscal 2019. Operating cash flows during fiscal 2020 reflect our net income of $12.5 million, adjustments of $141.6 million for depreciation, amortization, stock-based compensation and deferred income taxes, and a net cash outflow of $18.4 million due to changes in our operating assets and liabilities.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $166.5 million during fiscal 2019, compared to net cash provided of $173.5 million during fiscal 2018. Operating cash flows during fiscal 2019 reflect our net income of $19.3 million, adjustments of $147.8 million for depreciation, amortization, stock-based compensation and deferred income taxes, and a net cash outflow of $0.6 million due to changes in our operating assets and liabilities.

Accounts receivable increased to $95.2 million at January 2, 2021 from $75.6 million at December 28, 2019. The increase in accounts receivable resulted primarily from normal variations in the timing of collections and billings. Our average DSO was 35 days at January 2, 2021 and 31 days at December 28, 2019.

Inventory decreased to $66.7 million at January 2, 2021 from $73.1 million at December 28, 2019. Our inventory level is primarily impacted by our need to make purchase commitments to support forecasted demand and variations between forecasted and actual demand. Our DOI was 59 days at January 2, 2021 and 76 days at December 28, 2019. The decline in DOI was primarily due to lower inventory levels at January 2, 2021 resulting from supplier capacity constraints and higher demand for our products.

Investing Activities

Net cash used in investing activities was $361.0 million during fiscal 2020, compared to net cash used of $106.8 million during fiscal 2019. The increase in cash outflows was principally due to a payment of $316.8 million for the acquisition of the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth business of Redpine Signals, offset by a decrease in cash outflows of $57.4 million from net purchases and sales of marketable securities in fiscal 2020.

Net cash used in investing activities was $106.8 million during fiscal 2019, compared to net cash used of $197.0 million during fiscal 2018. The decrease in cash outflows was principally due to a decrease of $237.2 million in net payments for the acquisition of businesses, offset by an increase in cash outflows of $157.8 million in net purchases and sales of marketable securities in fiscal 2019.

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Financing Activities

Net cash provided by financing activities was $200.9 million during fiscal 2020, compared to cash used of $29.6 million during fiscal 2019. The increase in cash inflows was principally due to $845.0 million in proceeds from the issuance of debt and a decrease of $10.4 million for repurchases of our common stock, offset by $623.6 million in payments on debt in fiscal 2020.

Net cash used in financing activities was $29.6 million during fiscal 2019, compared to cash used of $48.8 million during fiscal 2018. The decrease in cash outflows was principally due to a decrease of $12.6 million for repurchases of our common stock during fiscal 2019.

As of January 2, 2021, our debt included $535 million principal amount convertible senior notes (the “2025 Notes”) and $140.6 million principal amount convertible senior notes (the “2022 Notes”) and we had an undrawn $400 million revolving credit facility. We have an option to increase the size of the borrowing capacity of the revolving credit facility by up to the greater of an aggregate of $250 million and 100% of EBITDA, plus an amount that would not cause a secured leverage ratio to exceed 3.25 to 1.00, subject to certain conditions. On March 27, 2020, we borrowed $310 million under the revolving credit facility. On June 1, 2020, we used $310.0 million of the 2025 Notes proceeds to repay the revolving credit facility in full. We used the remainder of the proceeds, along with cash on hand, to repurchase approximately $236.8 million aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 2022 Notes. We had increased our borrowings as a precautionary measure in order to increase our cash position and preserve financial flexibility in light of current uncertainty in the global markets resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 6, 2021, we issued a notice of redemption for the remaining 2022 Notes. The redemption will occur on March 22, 2021, unless earlier converted. See Note 10, Debt, to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including the rate of sales growth, market acceptance of our products, the timing and extent of research and development projects, potential acquisitions of companies or technologies and the expansion of our sales and marketing activities. We believe our existing cash, cash equivalents, investments and credit under our Credit Facility are sufficient to meet our capital requirements through at least the next 12 months, although we could be required, or could elect, to seek additional funding prior to that time. We may enter into acquisitions or strategic arrangements in the future which also could require us to seek additional equity or debt financing.

Contractual Obligations

The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of January 2, 2021 (in thousands):

Payments due by period

    

Total

    

2021

    

2022

    

2023

    

2024

    

2025

    

Thereafter

Long‑term debt obligations (1)

$

675,567

$

140,567

$

$

$

$

535,000

$

Interest on long‑term debt obligations (2)

$

19,532

$

5,399

$

4,332

$

4,332

$

3,928

$

1,541

$

Operating lease obligations (3)

$

34,901

$

6,787

$

6,174

$

5,367

$

4,874

$

3,278

$

8,421

Purchase obligations (4)

$

148,595

$

148,595

$

$

$

$

$

Other long‑term obligations (5)

$

39,667

$

$

14,888

$

10,406

$

6,346

$

8,027

$

(1)Long-term debt obligations represent the principal portion of the 2022 Notes and 2025 Notes. The remaining principal balance of the 2022 Notes will be redeemed in 2021, and, therefore, has been reclassified to short-term debt.
(2)Interest on our long-term debt obligations primarily represents contractual interest on the 2022 Notes and 2025 Notes. Interest excludes non-cash amortization of the debt discount and debt issuance costs.
(3)Operating lease obligations include amounts for leased facilities.
(4)Purchase obligations include contractual arrangements in the form of purchase orders with suppliers where there is a fixed non-cancelable payment schedule or minimum payments due with a reduced delivery schedule.
(5)Other long-term obligations primarily represent non-current income taxes and software license obligations.

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We are unable to make a reasonably reliable estimate as to when or if cash settlement with taxing authorities will occur for our unrecognized tax benefits. Therefore, our liability of $3.0 million for unrecognized tax benefits is not included in the table above. See Note 17, Income Taxes, to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

As of January 2, 2021, we had no significant off-balance sheet arrangements.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The preparation of financial statements and accompanying notes in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles requires that we make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported. Changes in facts and circumstances could have a significant impact on the resulting estimated amounts included in the financial statements. We believe the following critical accounting policies affect our more complex judgments and estimates.

Inventory valuation – We assess the recoverability of inventories through the application of a set of methods, assumptions and estimates. In determining net realizable value, we write down inventory that may be slow moving or have some form of obsolescence, including inventory that has aged more than 12 months. We also adjust the valuation of inventory when its manufacturing cost exceeds the estimated selling price less costs of completion, disposal and transportation. We assess the potential for any unusual customer returns based on known quality or business issues and write-off inventory losses for scrap or non-saleable material. Inventory not otherwise identified to be written down is compared to an assessment of our 12-month forecasted demand. The result of this methodology is compared against the product life cycle and competitive situations in the marketplace to determine the appropriateness of the resulting inventory levels. Demand for our products may fluctuate significantly over time, and actual demand and market conditions may be more or less favorable than those that we project. In the event that actual demand is lower or market conditions are worse than originally projected, additional inventory write-downs may be required.

Impairment of goodwill and other long-lived assets – We review long-lived assets which are held and used, including fixed assets and purchased intangible assets, for impairment whenever changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets may not be recoverable. Such evaluations compare the carrying amount of an asset to future undiscounted net cash flows expected to be generated by the asset over its expected useful life and are significantly impacted by estimates of future prices and volumes for our products, capital needs, economic trends and other factors which are inherently difficult to forecast. If the asset is considered to be impaired, we record an impairment charge equal to the amount by which the carrying value of the asset exceeds its fair value determined by either a quoted market price, if any, or a value determined by utilizing a discounted cash flow technique.

We test our goodwill for impairment annually as of the first day of our fourth fiscal quarter and in interim periods if certain events occur indicating that the carrying value of goodwill may be impaired. We assess goodwill for impairment by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit to its carrying amount. In determining fair value, several valuation methodologies are allowed, although quoted market prices are the best evidence of fair value. If the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, we recognize an impairment loss equal to that excess amount.

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Acquired intangible assets – When we acquire a business, a portion of the purchase price is typically allocated to identifiable intangible assets, such as acquired technology and customer relationships. Fair value of these assets is determined primarily using the income approach, which requires us to project future cash flows and apply an appropriate discount rate. We amortize intangible assets with finite lives over their expected useful lives. Our estimates are based upon assumptions believed to be reasonable but which are inherently uncertain and unpredictable. Assumptions may be incomplete or inaccurate, and unanticipated events and circumstances may occur. Incorrect estimates could result in future impairment charges, and those charges could be material to our results of operations.

Revenue recognition – We recognize revenue when control of the promised goods or services is transferred to customers, in an amount that reflects the consideration we expect to be entitled to in exchange for those goods or services. In order to achieve this core principle, we apply a five-step process. As part of this process, we analyze the performance obligations in a customer contract and estimate the consideration we expect to receive. The evaluation of performance obligations requires that we identify the promised goods and services in the contract. For contracts that contain more than one promised good and service, we then must determine whether the promises are capable of being distinct and if they are separately identifiable from other promises in the contract. Additionally, for our sales to distributors, we must estimate the impact that price adjustments and rights of return will have on consideration. We make these estimates based on available information, including recent sales activity and pricing data. If our evaluation of performance obligations is incorrect, we may recognize revenue sooner or later than is appropriate. If our estimates of consideration are inaccurate, we may recognize too much or too little revenue in a period. We may adjust assumptions used to estimate consideration periodically based on analysis of prior estimates. See Note 14, Revenues, to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

Stock-based compensation – We recognize the fair-value of stock-based compensation transactions in the Consolidated Statements of Income. The fair value of our full-value stock awards (with the exception of market-based performance awards) equals the fair market value of our stock on the date of grant. The fair value of our market-based performance awards is estimated at the date of grant using a Monte-Carlo simulation. The fair value of our stock option and employee stock purchase plan grants is estimated at the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. In addition, we are required to estimate the expected forfeiture rate of our stock grants and only recognize the expense for those shares expected to vest. If our actual experience differs significantly from the assumptions used to compute our stock-based compensation cost, or if different assumptions had been used, we may have recorded too much or too little stock-based compensation cost. See Note 15, Stock-Based Compensation, to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.

Income taxes – We are required to calculate income taxes in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate. This process involves calculating the actual current tax liability together with assessing temporary differences in recognition of income (loss) for tax and accounting purposes. These differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities, which are included in our Consolidated Balance Sheet. We record a valuation allowance when it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. In assessing the need for a valuation allowance, we are required to estimate the amount of expected future taxable income. Judgment is inherent in this process and differences between the estimated and actual taxable income could result in a material impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements.

We recognize liabilities for uncertain tax positions based on a two-step process. The first step requires us to determine whether the weight of available evidence indicates that the tax position has met the threshold for recognition. Therefore, we must evaluate whether it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained on audit, including resolution of any related appeals or litigation processes. The second step requires us to measure the tax benefit of the tax position taken, or expected to be taken, in an income tax return as the largest amount that is more than 50% likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement. This measurement step is inherently complex and requires subjective estimations of such amounts to determine the probability of various possible outcomes. We re-evaluate the uncertain tax positions each quarter based on factors including, but not limited to, changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, expirations of statutes of limitation, effectively settled issues under audit, and new audit activity. Such a change in recognition or measurement would result in the recognition of a tax benefit or an additional charge to the tax provision in the period.

Although we believe the measurement of our liabilities for uncertain tax positions is reasonable, no assurance can be given that the final outcome of these matters will not be different than what is reflected in the historical income tax provisions and accruals. If additional taxes are assessed as a result of an audit or litigation, they could have a material effect on our income tax provision and net income in the period or periods for which that determination is made. We operate within multiple taxing jurisdictions and are subject to audit in these jurisdictions. These audits can involve complex issues which may require an extended period of time to resolve and could result in additional assessments of income tax. We believe adequate provisions for income taxes have been made for all periods.

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Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Information regarding recent accounting pronouncements is provided in Note 2, Significant Accounting Policies, to the Consolidated Financial Statements. Such information is incorporated by reference herein.

Item 7A.    Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

Interest Income

Our investment portfolio includes cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and long-term investments. Our main investment objectives are the preservation of investment capital and the maximization of after-tax returns on our investment portfolio. Our interest income is sensitive to changes in the general level of U.S. interest rates. Our investment portfolio holdings as January 2, 2021 yielded less than 100 basis points. A decline in yield to zero basis points on our investment portfolio holdings as of January 2, 2021 would decrease our future annual interest income by approximately $5.2 million. A 100 basis point decline in yield on our investment portfolio holdings as of December 28, 2019 would have decreased our future annual interest income by approximately $6.6 million. We believe that our investment policy, which defines the duration, concentration, and minimum credit quality of the allowable investments, meets our investment objectives.

Interest Expense

We are exposed to interest rate fluctuations in the normal course of our business, including through our credit facility. The interest rate on the credit facility consists of a variable-rate of interest and an applicable margin. While we have drawn from the credit facility in the past, we have no borrowings as of January 2, 2021. If we borrow from the credit facility in the future, we will again be exposed to interest rate fluctuations.

Foreign currency exchange rate risk

We are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate risk primarily through assets, liabilities and operating expenses of our subsidiaries denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. Our foreign subsidiaries are considered to be extensions of the U.S. parent. The functional currency of the foreign subsidiaries is the U.S. dollar. Accordingly, gains and losses resulting from remeasuring transactions denominated in currencies other than U.S. dollars are recorded in the Consolidated Statements of Income. We use foreign currency forward contracts to manage exposure to foreign exchange risk. Gains and losses on foreign currency forward contracts are recognized in earnings in the same period during which the hedged transaction is recognized.

Investments in Auction-rate Securities

As of January 2, 2021, we held $6.0 million par value auction-rate securities, all of which have experienced failed auctions because sell orders exceeded buy orders. We are unable to predict if these funds will become available before their maturity dates. Additionally, if we determine that a credit-related decline in the fair value of any of our available-for-sale auction-rate securities has occurred, we may be required to adjust the carrying value of the investments through an impairment charge.

Item 8.    Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

The Financial Statements and supplementary data required by this item are included in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K and are presented beginning on page F-1.

Item 9.    Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

None.

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Item 9A.    Controls and Procedures

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

We have performed an evaluation under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), of the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures, as defined in Rule 13a-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act). Based on that evaluation, our management, including our CEO and CFO, concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of January 2, 2021 to provide reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports filed or submitted by us under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms. Such disclosure controls and procedures include controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our CEO and CFO, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosures.

Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

There was no change in our internal controls during the fiscal quarter ended January 2, 2021 that materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal controls over financial reporting.

Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Our internal control system was designed to provide reasonable assurance to our management and Board of Directors regarding the preparation and fair presentation of published financial statements.

Our management assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of January 2, 2021. In making this assessment, it used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) in Internal Control—Integrated Framework (2013 framework). Based on our assessment we concluded that, as of January 2, 2021, our internal control over financial reporting is effective based on those criteria.

Our independent registered public accounting firm, Ernst & Young LLP, issued an attestation report on our internal control over financial reporting. This report appears on page F-1.

Item 9B.    Other Information

None.

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Part III

Certain information required by Part III is omitted from this report because we intend to file a definitive Proxy Statement pursuant to Regulation 14A (the “Proxy Statement”) no later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this report, and certain information to be included therein is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 10.    Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

The information required by this Item is incorporated by reference to the Proxy Statement under the sections captioned “Proposal One: Election of Directors,” “Executive Compensation,” “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance” and “Code of Ethics.”

Item 11.    Executive Compensation

The information under the caption “Executive Compensation” and “Proposal One: Election of Directors” appearing in the Proxy Statement, is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 12.    Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

The information under the caption “Ownership of Securities” and “Equity Compensation Plan Information” appearing in the Proxy Statement is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 13.    Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

The information under the caption “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence” appearing in the Proxy Statement is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 14.    Principal Accounting Fees and Services

The information under the caption “Proposal Two: Ratification of Appointment of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” appearing in the Proxy Statement is incorporated herein by reference.

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Part IV

Item 15.    Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

(a)   1.    Financial Statements

Index

Page

Report of independent registered public accounting firm

F-1

Report of independent registered public accounting firm

F-2

Consolidated Balance Sheets at January 2, 2021 and December 28, 2019

F-4

Consolidated Statements of Income for the fiscal years ended January 2, 2021, December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018

F-5

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for the fiscal years ended January 2, 2021, December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018

F-6

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Stockholders' Equity for the fiscal years ended January 2, 2021, December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018

F-7

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the fiscal years ended January 2, 2021, December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018

F-8

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

F-9

2.    Schedules

All schedules have been omitted since the information required by the schedule is not applicable, or is not present in amounts sufficient to require submission of the schedule, or because the information required is included in the Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto.

3.    Exhibits

The exhibits listed on the accompanying index to exhibits immediately following the Consolidated Financial Statements are filed as part of, or hereby incorporated by reference into, this Form 10-K.

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(b)   Exhibits

Exhibit
Number

    

2.1*

Asset Purchase Agreement, dated March 11, 2020, by and among Silicon Laboratories Inc., Silicon Laboratories International Pte. Ltd. and Redpine Signals, Inc. (filed as Exhibit 2.1 to the Form 8-K filed on March 12, 2020).

3.1*

Form of Fourth Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of Silicon Laboratories Inc. (filed as Exhibit 3.1 to the Registration Statement on Form S-1 (Securities and Exchange Commission File No. 333-94853) (the “IPO Registration Statement”)).

3.2*

Fourth Amended and Restated Bylaws of Silicon Laboratories Inc. (filed as Exhibit 3.2 to the Form 8-K filed on January 27, 2017).

4.1*

Specimen certificate for shares of common stock (filed as Exhibit 4.1 to the IPO Registration Statement).

4.2*

Indenture between Silicon Laboratories Inc. and Wilmington Trust, National Association, as trustee, dated March 6, 2017 (filed as Exhibit 4.1 to the Form 8-K filed on March 6, 2017).

4.3*

Form of 1.375% Convertible Senior Note due 2022 (filed as Exhibit 4.2 to the Form 8-K filed on March 6, 2017).

4.4*

Indenture between Silicon Laboratories Inc. and Wilmington Trust, National Association, as trustee, dated June 1, 2020 (filed as Exhibit 4.1 to the Form 8-K filed on June 1, 2020).

4.5*

Form of 0.625% Convertible Senior Note due 2025 (filed as Exhibit 4.2 to the Form 8-K filed on June 1, 2020).

10.1*

+

Form of Indemnification Agreement between Silicon Laboratories Inc. and each of its directors and executive officers (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the IPO Registration Statement).

10.2*

Credit Agreement, dated July 31, 2012, by and among Silicon Laboratories Inc., the subsidiaries of the borrower identified therein, Bank of America, N.A., Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, and Regions Bank (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Form 8-K filed August 1, 2012).

10.3*

First Amendment to Credit Agreement, dated July 24, 2015, by and among Silicon Laboratories Inc., the subsidiaries of the borrower identified therein, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, Citibank, N.A., Regions Bank, Bank of America, N.A. and the lenders party thereto (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Form 8-K filed on July 29, 2015).

10.4*

Second Amendment to Credit Agreement, dated February 27, 2017, by and among Silicon Laboratories Inc., the subsidiaries of the borrower identified therein, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association and the lenders party thereto (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Form 8-K filed on February 27, 2017).

10.5*

Third Amendment to Credit Agreement, dated August 7, 2019, by and among Silicon Laboratories Inc., the subsidiaries of the borrower identified therein, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association and the lenders party thereto (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Form 8-K filed on August 7, 2019).

10.6*

Fourth Amendment to Credit Agreement, dated May 26, 2020, by and among Silicon Laboratories Inc., the subsidiaries of the borrower identified therein, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association and the lenders party thereto (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Form 8-K filed on May 27, 2020).

10.7*

Security and Pledge Agreement, dated July 31, 2012, by and among Silicon Laboratories Inc., with the other parties identified as “Obligors” (as defined therein) and such other parties that may become Obligors thereunder after the date thereof, and Bank of America, N.A (filed as Exhibit 10.2 to the Form 8-K filed August 1, 2012).

10.8*

+

Silicon Laboratories Inc. 2009 Stock Incentive Plan, as amended and restated on April 20, 2017 (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Form 10-Q filed on July 26, 2017).

10.9*

+

Silicon Laboratories Inc. 2009 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, as amended and restated on April 20, 2017 (filed as Exhibit 10.2 to the Form 10-Q filed on July 26, 2017).

10.10*

+

Form of Restricted Stock Units Grant Notice and Global Restricted Stock Units Award Agreement under Registrant’s 2009 Stock Incentive Plan, as amended and restated (filed as Exhibit 10.7 to the Form 10-K filed on February 1, 2017).

10.11*

+

Form of Market Stock Units Grant Notice and Global Market Stock Units Award Agreement under Registrant’s 2009 Stock Incentive Plan, as amended and restated (filed as Exhibit 10.8 to the Form 10-K filed on February 1, 2017).

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Exhibit
Number

    

10.12*

+

Form of Stock Option Grant Notice and Global Stock Option Award Agreement under Registrant’s 2009 Stock Incentive Plan, as amended and restated (filed as Exhibit 10.9 to the Form 10-K filed on February 1, 2017).

10.13*

+

Form of Performance Stock Units Grant Notice and Global PSU Award Agreement under Registrant’s 2009 Stock Incentive Plan, as amended and restated (filed as Exhibit 10.10 to the Form 10-K filed on February 1, 2017).

10.14*

Purchase Agreement between Silicon Laboratories Inc. and Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, as representatives of the several initial purchasers named therein, dated February 28, 2017 (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Form 8-K filed on March 6, 2017).

10.15*

+

CEO Change in Control Agreement dated October 23, 2018 between Silicon Laboratories Inc. and G. Tyson Tuttle (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Form 8-K filed on October 24, 2018).

10.16*

+

Silicon Laboratories Inc. Form of Change in Control Agreement (filed as Exhibit 10.2 to the Form 8-K filed on October 24, 2018).

10.17*

+

Silicon Laboratories Inc. 2020 Bonus Plan (filed as Exhibit 10.1 to the Form 8-K filed on January 24, 2020).

21

Subsidiaries of the Registrant.

23.1

Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.

24

Power of Attorney (included on signature page to this Form 10-K).

31.1

Certification of the Principal Executive Officer, as required by Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

31.2

Certification of the Principal Financial Officer, as required by Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

32.1

Certification as required by Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

101.INS

Inline XBRL Instance Document – the instance document does not appear in the Interactive Data File because its XBRL tags are embedded within the Inline XBRL document.

101.SCH

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema Document

101.CAL

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase Document

101.LAB

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase Document

101.PRE

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase Document

101.DEF

Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase Document

104

Cover Page Interactive Data File (formatted as Inline XBRL and contained in Exhibit 101)

*     Incorporated herein by reference to the indicated filing.

+     Management contract or compensatory plan or arrangement

Item 16.    Form 10-K Summary

None.

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SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in Austin, Texas, on February 3, 2021.

SILICON LABORATORIES INC.

By:

/s/ G. Tyson Tuttle

G. Tyson Tuttle

President and Chief Executive Officer

POWER OF ATTORNEY

KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below constitutes and appoints G. Tyson Tuttle and John C. Hollister and each of them, acting individually, as his or her attorney-in-fact, each with full power of substitution and resubstitution, for him or her and in his or her name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, to sign any and all amendments to this annual report on Form 10-K and other documents in connection herewith and therewith, and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting unto said attorneys-in-fact and agents, and each of them, full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and necessary to be done in connection herewith and therewith and about the premises, as fully to all intents and purposes as he or she might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or any of them, or their or his substitute or substitutes, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated:

Name

Title

Date

/s/ Navdeep S. Sooch

    

Chairman of the Board

    

February 3, 2021

Navdeep S. Sooch

/s/ G. Tyson Tuttle

President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

(Principal Executive Officer)

February 3, 2021

G. Tyson Tuttle

/s/ John C. Hollister

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

(Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer)

February 3, 2021

John C. Hollister

/s/ William G. Bock

Director

February 3, 2021

William G. Bock

/s/ Jack R. Lazar

Director

February 3, 2021

Jack R. Lazar

/s/ Gregg Lowe

Director

February 3, 2021

Gregg Lowe

/s/ Nina Richardson

Director

February 3, 2021

Nina Richardson

/s/ Sumit Sadana

Director

February 3, 2021

Sumit Sadana

/s/ William P. Wood

Director

February 3, 2021

William P. Wood

/s/ Christy Wyatt

Director

February 3, 2021

Christy Wyatt

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The Board of Directors and Stockholders of Silicon Laboratories Inc.

Opinion on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

We have audited Silicon Laboratories Inc.’s internal control over financial reporting as of January 2, 2021, based on criteria established in Internal Control— Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) (the COSO criteria). In our opinion, Silicon Laboratories Inc. (the Company) maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of January 2, 2021, based on the COSO criteria.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated balance sheets of Silicon Laboratories Inc. as of January 2, 2021 and December 28, 2019, the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, changes in stockholders’ equity and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 2, 2021, and the related notes and our report dated February 3, 2021 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

Basis for Opinion

The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.

Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

Austin, Texas

February 3, 2021

F-1

Table of Contents

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The Board of Directors and Stockholders of Silicon Laboratories Inc.

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Silicon Laboratories Inc. (the Company) as of January 2, 2021 and December 28, 2019, the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, changes in stockholders' equity and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 2, 2021, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at January 2, 2021 and December 28, 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 2, 2021, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of January 2, 2021, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) and our report dated February 3, 2021 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

Basis for Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Critical Audit Matters

The critical audit matters communicated below are matters arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that were communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relate to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matters below, providing separate opinions on the critical audit matters or on the accounts or disclosures to which they relate.

    

Recognition of Variable Consideration

Description of the Matter

At January 2, 2021, the Company’s revenue returns liability, which is included in the Deferred revenues and returns liability in the consolidated balance sheet, was $13 million. As discussed in Note 2 of the consolidated financial statements, when recording revenue for its contracts with customers the Company estimates variable consideration at the most likely amount to which it expects to be entitled. Variable consideration that does not meet revenue recognition criteria is deferred and a revenue returns liability is recorded. The variable consideration estimate considers both the likelihood of a return and the amount of potential price concession.

Auditing management’s estimate of the revenue returns liability was judgmental because the calculation involves subjective management assumptions about the estimates of expected future price concessions and/or product returns. For example, the estimated variable consideration included in the transaction price reflects management’s evaluation of contractual terms, historical experience, assumptions about future economic conditions and the quantity of products distributors are expected to sell. Changes in those assumptions can have a material effect on the amount of variable consideration recognized.

F-2

Table of Contents

How We Addressed the Matter in Our Audit

We obtained an understanding, evaluated the design and tested the operating effectiveness of controls over the measurement and valuation of the variable consideration recognized as revenue and the revenue returns liability. For example, we tested controls over management’s review of the variable consideration methodology, the significant assumptions and the historical data utilized in the estimate for assumed product returns and expected price concessions.

To test the variable consideration recognized as revenue and the revenue returns liability, we performed audit procedures that included, among others, an evaluation of the Company’s methodology and significant assumptions, and tested the completeness and accuracy of the historical data utilized in the estimate. In our assessment of the methodology, we considered changes in the business, changes to specific distributor contracts and evaluated significant assumptions used by comparison to current trends and recent transactions. We also evaluated the accuracy of management’s assumed product returns and expected price concessions from prior periods by comparing to subsequent actual activity.

Accounting for Acquisition

Description of the Matter

As discussed in Note 8 of the financial statements, on April 28, 2020, the Company acquired the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth business of Redpine Signals, Inc. for total acquisition consideration of $317 million. The transaction was accounted for as a business combination in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 805.

Auditing the Company’s accounting for the Redpine Signals acquisition was complex and judgmental due to the significant estimation required by management to determine the fair value of the acquired intangible assets, including developed technology and in-process research and development assets of $62 million and $12 million, respectively. The Company used variations of the income valuation approach, including the discounted expected future cash flow method, to measure the fair value of these intangible assets. Significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value of these intangible assets included revenue growth rates, technology migration curves and discount rates. These assumptions are forward-looking and could be affected by future economic and market conditions.

How We Addressed the Matter in Our Audit

We obtained an understanding, evaluated the design and tested the operating effectiveness of controls over the Company’s accounting for acquisitions. For example, we tested controls over management’s review of the valuation of acquired intangible assets, including the review of the valuation models and significant assumptions used in the valuation models.

To test the estimated fair value of these intangible assets, our audit procedures included, among others, evaluating the Company’s valuation methodology, evaluating the significant assumptions used by the Company and evaluating the completeness and accuracy of the underlying data supporting the significant assumptions and estimates. For example, we compared the significant assumptions used to current industry, market and economic trends, to the assumptions used to value similar assets in other acquisitions, and to the historical results of both the Company and the acquiree. We also involved our valuation specialists to assist with our evaluation of the methodology used by the Company and significant assumptions included in the fair value estimates.

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 1996.

Austin, Texas

February 3, 2021

F-3

Table of Contents

Silicon Laboratories Inc.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

(In thousands, except per share data)

January 2,

December 28,

    

2021

    

2019

Assets

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

202,720

$

227,146

Short-term investments

 

521,963

 

498,825

Accounts receivable, net

 

95,169

 

75,639

Inventories

 

66,662

 

73,057

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

89,307

 

69,192

Total current assets

 

975,821

 

943,859

Property and equipment, net

 

139,439

 

135,939

Goodwill

 

631,932

 

398,402

Other intangible assets, net

 

166,084

 

134,279

Other assets, net

 

80,211

 

62,374

Total assets

$

1,993,487

$

1,674,853

Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity

Current liabilities:

Accounts payable

$

54,949

$

38,899

Current portion of convertible debt, net

134,480

Deferred revenue and returns liability

12,986

19,251

Other current liabilities

 

82,083

 

79,551

Total current liabilities

 

284,498

 

137,701

Convertible debt, net

428,945

368,257

Other non-current liabilities