Intel's (INTC) - Get Report$15.3 billion purchase of Mobileye (MBLY) serves as just one of many indicators that last year's flurry of consolidation will likely continue this year. The deal also shows that more and more chip companies are diversifying beyond the legacy PC business and toward the rapidly developing autonomous car market -- an area where semiconductors have become a vital commodity in automakers' efforts to develop such technologies.
"The automotive industry and the tech industry are converging at a rapid pace," said Needham analyst Rajvindra Gill. "So you have auto companies like General Motors (GM) - Get Report who are buying technology assets to support autonomous driving and, at the same time, you have semiconductor companies that have the hardware and processors but are buying software companies to become the primary channel for automakers."
Self-driving cars use mapping, machine-learning and computer vision technologies, among others, that require high-level processing chips, making chipmakers all that more ripe for acquisition.
Here are eight semiconductor companies that might get acquired next in the race to develop self-driving cars: