It is official: Microchip, the manufacturer of the well-known PIC microcontrollers (and other parts) has agreed to acquire Atmel, the manufacturer of the equally well-known AVR microcontrollers (and other parts) for some 3.2 billion euros. The transaction has been approved by the Board of Directors of each company and is expected to close in the second quarter of calendar year 2016, subject to approval by Atmel’s stockholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. No approval by Microchip’s stockholders is required in connection with the transaction.

With this acquisition Microchip joins the ranks of NXP who recently bought Freescale, Intel who bought Altera, and Avago that acquired Broadcom. ON Semiconductor is expected to take over Fairchild, making 2016 a year of big multi-billion takeovers, hopefully reducing the number of websites to check for new products and datasheets. 

Will this merger end the long-standing difference between AVR lovers and PIC fanatics? Probably not. Pepsi or Coke? Who cares, as long as the products work as advertised.