Semiconductor vendor Xilinx Inc. and Avnet Inc. have struck an agreement to expand their existing relationship and extend this into a range of services meant to showcase the top-tier distributor’s reach into the electronics design chain. The announcement builds on steps already taken in recent months by Avnet to reorganize operations and refocus on strengthening supplier relationships and offering deeper support to design engineers.
The two companies have been partners for more than 30 years and today’s announcement extends that engagement into the near future. Xilinx and Avnet agreed to further engagements in the design and supply chains to support customers who will now be able to access the chipmaker’s products at EBV Elektronik, an Avnet business unit focused on the semiconductor market. Xilinx, a supplier of programmable semiconductor components, would benefit from EBV Elektronik’s expertise in creating new market opportunities and generating sales in less margin sensitive OEM markets.
Aside from the obvious benefits from the expanded relationship, the renewed engagement with Xilinx offered Avnet a much-desired chest-pounding opportunity to counter speculations it was in danger of losing critical supplier agreements. Xilinx is one of the semiconductor industry’s top vendor of programmable chips and a direct competitor of Altera Inc., another Silicon Valley icon that Intel purchased in 2015. Traditionally, Avnet and top North American rival Arrow Electronics Inc., have each represented only one of the two top FPGA vendors. With this announcement, Avnet quashed any speculations it might be in danger of losing the Xilinx line.
“We value the long-standing relationship with Avnet and the critical role they have played in deploying Xilinx technology across a wide range of markets. The expansion of our global partnership is a testament of our long-term commitment, enabling a deeper engagement between our companies and our customers,” said Krishna Rangasayee, executive VP of global sales at Xilinx. “The addition of EBV is strategic to our business growth, and the significant investment in resources across the geographies will enable more customers to realize the full potential and unique capabilities of Xilinx products.”
Under the terms of the expanded relationship, Avnet would continue to support Xilinx products and customers with design chain and supply chain tools in addition to other technical offerings. The companies said Avnet would offer the following tools to support Xilinx:
- Additional resource investment and customer solution provisioning
- Significantly more technical resources across all of Avnet’s global regions
- Two-channel distribution strategy to compete effectively against other programmable logic architectures in EMEA
- Full access to Avnet’s design chain and supply chain ecosystem – Hackster.io, Premier Farnell, and MakerSource - to identify new customer types, understand their requirements, and provide Xilinx and Avnet high-value solutions across the entrepreneur to enterprise market continuum
- Pair Xilinx products and solutions with Avnet’s other leading supplier partner product portfolios creating even higher value and more comprehensive solutions offerings for customers with earlier entry into the design process
- New access to Avnet’s demand generation powerhouse EBV business
Avnet said EBV Elektronik would begin selling and supporting Xilinx products starting in July. It would target a range of markets, including “artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, embedded vision, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and 5G.” Another Avnet business unit, Avnet Silica would also continue to support Xilinx products in the EMEA region, the company said.
“This announcement demonstrates the strength of Avnet’s commitment to our partnership with Xilinx, and to our global customers, by providing the resources they need to accelerate time-to-market and move new designs seamlessly from prototype through to volume production,” said Avnet CEO William Amelio, in a statement. “The unprecedented relationship between Avnet and Xilinx continues to set the industry standard for truly synergistic technical collaboration and first-class customer support. We help customers around the world guide today’s ideas into tomorrow’s technology.”