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Industry Fabless semiconductor company
Founded 1984
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, USA[1]
Key people
CEO, and President: Greg Lang
Number of employees

PMC-Sierra is an American fabless semiconductor company which develops and sells devices into the communications, storage, printing, and embedded computing marketplaces.


Burnaby, Canada PMC-Sierra Building

Sierra Semiconductor was originally founded in 1984 in San Jose, California by James Diller.[3] It received funding on January 11, 1984 from Sequoia Capital, and went public in 1991.

Pacific Microelectronics Centre in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, was spun off from Microtel Pacific Research (the research arm of BC TEL at the time) to develop Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and later SONET integrated circuits (chips). With investment from Sierra Semiconductor, PMC was established in 1992 as a private company focused on providing networking semiconductors, and became a wholly owned, independently operated subsidiary of Sierra Semiconductor in 1994. Microtel is a part of Verizon Communications.

In August 1996, Sierra Semiconductor announced its decision to exit the personal computer modem chipset business, to restructure its other non-networking products and focus on its networking products. 150 employees were made redundant.[4] In late 1996, it acquired Bipolar Integrated Technology in Beaverton, Oregon, for about $10 million to enter the Ethernet business. The headquarters was moved to Burnaby, and in June 1997, PMC Sierra overtook its parent, Sierra Semiconductor, changing its name to PMC-Sierra.[5] It acquired Integrated Telecom Technology Inc., San Jose, for $55 million in cash and stock in 1998.[3]

Between 2001 and 2007 the company was reported as having multiple rounds of redundancy. In 2001, 350 employees, or 24% of total workforce, were made redundant.[6][7] Then in January 2003, 176 employees were made redundant[8] and in June 2005, 89 employees were made redundant.[9] In August 2006, 30 to 40 employees were made redundant.[10] In 2007 two rounds of redundancy happened, first in March 2007, 175 employees were made redundant[11] and then in December 2007, 18 employees were made redundant.[12]

In May 2006, PMC-Sierra acquired Passave, Inc., a developer of system-on-chip semiconductors for the fiber to the home access market in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $300 million. Passave was headquartered in Boston and had a development center in Tel Aviv, Israel.[13] On October 22, 2010, PMC-Sierra acquired Wintegra Inc. for $240 million. Wintegra had 165 employees with the majority of its development team located in Raanana, Israel, and Austin, Texas.[14] A further acquisition was made on the 29th of May 2013 when PMC acquired IDT’s Enterprise Flash Controller Business.[15]

On September 4, 2014 PMC Licenses HP Smart Array Intellectual Property to Accelerate Growth in Server Storage Solutions.[16]


PMC-Sierra provides broadband communications and storage semiconductors for metro, access, fiber to the home, wireless infrastructure, enterprise and channel storage, laser printers and customer premises equipment. PMC has more than 250 different semiconductor devices[17] that are sold to equipment manufacturers, who in turn supply their equipment to communications network service providers and enterprises. As a fabless semiconductor company, PMC-Sierra designs and tests products, but outsources wafer fabrication and assembly functions to third party suppliers.

PMC-Sierra's customers include HP, EMC Corporation, Huawei, Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, ZTE and Juniper.


PMC-Sierra offers products for storage networks and systems.[18] The company provides an interconnect and controller product family for SAS and SATA storage systems and server computer RAID controllers. PMC-Sierra provides Fibre Channel controller and system interconnect products. PMC-Sierra acquired the channel storage business from Adaptec. This business was named "Adaptec by PMC" and makes SAS/SATA RAID Adapters.


PMC-Sierra offers communication ICs for metro access, metro transport, FTTH/PON, Ethernet over SONET/SDH, Optical Transport Network (OTN) and wireless base transceiver stations (BTS).[19] PMC-Sierra sells products for what is known as Ethernet in the first mile, which generally uses a passive optical network to residential areas.[citation needed] PMC-Sierra semiconductor devices allow wireless service providers to deploy wireless mobile phone network equipment.[20] This includes MIPS based network processors for wireless back haul and radio frequency integrated circuits for wideband radio modules.


PMC-Sierra has discrete and system-on-chip products for both laser and multi-function printers.


  1. ^ SEC filing
  2. ^ 10-K SEC filing
  3. ^ a b Robert Ristelhueber (September 1, 1998). "Pulling the plug". Electronics Design News. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Sierra Semiconductor Expects to Cut 150 Employees". The New York Times. August 31, 1996. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Former Sierra Semi completes restructuring. Retrieved on 2009-03-29[dead link]
  6. ^ PMC Maximizes Acquisitions: Brownridge details restructuring. Retrieved on 2009-03-29
  7. ^ "PMC-Sierra to lay off 350. Retrieved on 2009-03-29". 2001-10-18. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  8. ^ "PMC-Sierra Lays Off 176". Electronics Design News. January 17, 2003. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ "PMC-Sierra Cuts 89 Jobs". Electronics Design News. June 24, 2005. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ "More Layoffs at PMC-Sierra". Electronics Design News. August 31, 2006. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ Suzanne Deffree (March 30, 2007). "PMC-Sierra closes R&D centers, cuts 175 jobs". Electronics Design News. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ 10-K SEC Filing by PMC Sierra on 02/26/09. Retrieved on 2009-03-29
  13. ^ "PMC-Sierra to buy Passave for $300M". MarketWatch. April 4, 2006. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ "PMC-Sierra buys Wintegra: The acquisition of Wintegra expands PMC-Sierra's presence in Israel, where its FTTH business is based.". Globes: Israel's Business Arena. October 24, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  15. ^ "PMC-Sierra Announces Acquisition of IDT SSD Assets". StorageReview. May 31, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  16. ^ "PMC Licenses HP Smart Array Intellectual Property to Accelerate Growth in Server Storage Solutions". Marketwatch. September 4, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2015. 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ [2][dead link]
  19. ^ [3][dead link]
  20. ^ [4][dead link]

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