avatar Maxlinear, Inc. Manufacturing

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    Table of Contents UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Washington, D.C. 20549 FORM 10-K ☑ ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020 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: 001-34666 MaxLinear, Inc. (Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter) Delaware 14-1896129 (State or other jurisdiction of (I.R.S. Employer incorporation or organization) Identification No.) 5966 La Place Court, Suite 100, Carlsbad, California 92008 (Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code) (760) 692-0711 (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 the exchange on which registered Common Stock MXL New York Stock Exchange 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. 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 ☐ No ☑ Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 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. 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). 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 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 ☑ 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. Yes ☑ No ☐ 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 registrant’s common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, held by non-affiliates of the registrant on June 30, 2020, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $ 1.4 billion (based on the closing sales price of the registrant’s common stock on that date). Shares of the registrant’s common stock held by each officer and director and each person known to the registrant to own 10% or more of the outstanding voting power of the registrant have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status with respect to the foregoing calculation is not a determination for other purposes. As of February 4, 2021, the registrant has 74,543,700 shares of common stock, par value $0.0001, outstanding. _________________________________________ DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE Information required by Part III of this Form 10-K is incorporated by reference to the registrant’s proxy statement or the Proxy Statement, for the 2021 annual meeting of stockholders, which proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Form 10-K.


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    Table of Contents MAXLINEAR, INC. TABLE OF CONTENTS Part I Page Item 1. Business 4 Item 1A. Risk Factors 15 Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 42 Item 2. Properties 42 Item 3. Legal Proceedings 42 Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 42 Part II Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 43 Item 6. Selected Financial Data 45 Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 46 Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 61 Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 62 Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 62 Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 62 Item 9B. Other Information 65 Part III Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance 66 Item 11. Executive Compensation 66 Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters 66 Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 66 Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services 66 Part IV Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 68 2


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    Table of Contents MAXLINEAR, INC. PART I Forward-Looking Statements The information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, or this Form 10-K, contains forward-looking statements and information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those sections. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenues, projected costs, prospects and plans and objectives of management. The words “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “projects,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on our forward- looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements that we make. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the risks set forth in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in this Form 10-K. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except as required by law. ITEM 1. BUSINESS Corporate Information We incorporated in the State of Delaware in September 2003. Our executive offices are located at 5966 La Place Court, Suite 100, Carlsbad, California 92008, and our telephone number is (760) 692-0711. In this Form 10-K, unless the context otherwise requires, the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to MaxLinear, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries. Our website address is www.maxlinear.com. The contents of our website are not incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K. We provide free of charge through a link on our website access to our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, as well as amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practical after the reports are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. Refer to Intellectual Property Rights section below for a list of our trademarks and trade names. All other trademarks and trade names appearing in this Form 10-K are the property of their respective owners. Overview We are a provider of communications systems-on-chip (SoC) solutions used in broadband, mobile and wireline infrastructure, data center, and industrial and multi-market applications. We are a fabless integrated circuit design company whose products integrate all or substantial portions of a high-speed communication system, including radio frequency (RF), high-performance analog, mixed-signal, digital signal processing, security engines, data compression and networking layers, and power management. In most cases, these products are designed on a single silicon-die using standard digital complimentary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes and conventional packaging technologies. We believe this approach enables our solutions to achieve superior power, performance and cost relative to our industry competition. Our customers include electronics distributors, module makers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs), which incorporate our products in a wide range of electronic devices. Examples of such devices include cable Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS), fiber and DSL broadband modems and gateways; Wi-Fi and wireline routers for home networking; radio transceivers and modems for 4G/5G base-station and backhaul infrastructure; fiber-optic modules for data center, metro, and long-haul transport networks; as well as power management and interface products used in these and many other markets. Our highly integrated semiconductor devices and platform-level solutions are primarily manufactured using low-cost CMOS process technology. CMOS processes are ideally suited for large digital logic implementations targeting high-volume and low-cost consumer applications. Importantly, our ability to design analog and mixed-signal circuits in CMOS allows us to efficiently combine analog functionality and complex digital signal processing logic in the same integrated circuit. As a result, our solutions have exceptional levels of functional integration and performance, low manufacturing cost, and reduced power consumption. In addition, our proprietary CMOS-based radio and digital system architectures also enable shorter design cycles, significant design flexibility and low system-level cost across a wide range of broadband communications, wired and wireless infrastructure, and industrial and multi-market customer applications. 3


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    Table of Contents Industry Background Over the last two decades, ubiquitous internet connectivity has driven exponential growth in data content, delivery, distribution, and consumption. We expect this trend to continue owing to: • The rapid rise of social media and crowd-sourced real-time content; • The proliferation of on-demand Over-The-Top (OTT) video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime; • Rapid growth in data center and cloud-based services such as Amazon Web Services, Google Search and Apps, and AI/machine learning; • The “remote economy” accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to work-from-home, and increasing dependence on video conferencing services such as Zoom; • The proliferation of “Internet of Things” (IoT), including internet-connected appliances within the home, manufacturing industries, and enterprises; and • The advent and growth of broadband 4G/5G wireless mobile internet connectivity. We expect a strong trend of continuous upgrade of network bandwidth and latency (i.e. the delay between sender and receiver) in order to keep pace with the exponential growth of network data traffic generated by the above activities. For example, cloud-based services increasingly require stringent low latency and extremely high-speed network connections between servers and storage within a data center. Also, IoT devices are generating an increasing amount of internet traffic and require low network latency. These IoT devices include smart speakers, smart lighting and other smart appliances in the connected home; commercial air-conditioning; video surveillance equipment; manufacturing machinery; and point-of-sale asset tracking systems. The reduction of speed and latency bottlenecks throughout networks is heavily reliant on wide spectrum or broadband, high-frequency circuits, and digital signal processing algorithms that can improve spectrum utilization efficiency. These trends are key drivers across many of our target end-markets: • Connected Home: Competing cable, fiber and other broadband video and data service providers are offering consumers bundled video, voice, and broadband data access and whole-home internet connectivity. These home data gateway modems or access devices are required to simultaneously receive, demodulate, and decode multiple signals, which are spread across several channels of frequency bandwidth over a wide frequency range and propagate on coaxial cable, copper, optical fiber or airwaves. Further, each gateway distributes content throughout the home using a broadband communication transceiver and network processor SoC based on Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) and other wireline home data connectivity standards. As a result, the number of transceivers required in each home, whether for wireless or broadband wireline access and distribution, is greatly increased. For example, cable multiple-system operators (MSOs) have ramped up deployments of multi-gigabit DOCSIS 3.1 home equipment and services, which “bond” multiple channels of frequency bands on a coaxial cable, to provide a higher aggregate “sum-of-the-channels” bandwidth to home subscribers. For example, within the home, Wi-Fi 6 uses wider bandwidth channels and channel-bonding, as well as more sophisticated means of wireless spectrum sharing by users, to provide seamless whole-home coverage. • Data Center Infrastructure: Inside hyperscale data centers operated by Amazon, Google and others, high-speed optical transceivers connect racks of servers and storage through a hierarchical network of switches and routers. Cloud services and machine learning are dependent upon the ability to interconnect vast numbers of servers and storage inside a data center with extremely low latency and highest bandwidth to enable the entire data center to act as a single computing or data processing unit. Consequently, the data traffic growth inside the data center has significantly outstripped the data traffic flowing to and from the data center. Currently, while server connections are transitioning from 10Gbps to 25Gbps or 100Gbps links, router and switch connections are moving from 100Gbps to 400Gbps speed interconnections. The physical limits and challenges of removing the heat dissipated by these optical transceivers and switches are the primary barriers to even higher interconnect speeds. For all these reasons, improving the bandwidth and power efficiency of data center networking technology within and between data centers remains a critical challenge for the evolution of next- generation data centers. • 5G Wireless Infrastructure: Expensive, finite, fractured and non-contiguous 5G wireless spectrum is being utilized more efficiently by aggregating or bonding multiple non-contiguous channels of spectrum with highly complex radio transceivers in a wireless base-station radio unit. These complex radio transceivers can also be configured in large antenna arrays to direct wireless signals more efficiently to specific users, also known as Massive Multiple-Input Multiple Output beamforming (MMIMO). Beamforming vastly improves coverage (range), maximizes data rates (bandwidth), and creates 4


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    Table of Contents spectral efficiency (data rate per unit spectrum). Densification, or increasing the number of wireless base-stations per unit area, also improves network capacity and coverage. In turn, the wireless and optical backhaul transport networks required to connect the higher number of base-station cells must have greater data capacity. As a result, microwave wireless backhaul and fronthaul transport links are migrating to millimeter wave operating frequencies where the availability of spectrum improves data capacity by more than tenfold. Implementing 5G access and transport functionality within base-stations requires radio transceivers that can process larger radio spectrum bandwidths; have expanded radio frequency range; compensate for signal distortion from high-power amplifiers; support beamforming in large antenna arrays; and have the ability to transport high speed data to and from the network, all in a low-cost, power-efficient design. • Industrial & Multi-Market: Increasingly, in the industrial world, manufacturing equipment and appliances are connected to each other and to the cloud to better optimize utilization, improve power consumption, and plant management. Legacy equipment and new installations need to communicate with each other via newer and older connectivity protocol standards. This, in turn creates growth opportunities for interface products, and interface bridge products supporting multiple protocols. We believe our interface product portfolio, which consists of serial interface, universal serial bus (USB), universal asynchronous receiver transmitter (UARTS), peripheral interconnect express (PCIe) devices, data converters and power management integrated chips (PMICs), addresses a broad and growing servable market across communications, industrial and multiple other end markets. The development of broadband, low power, integrated communication systems-on-chip solutions is at the heart of competitiveness across a range of different businesses spanning broadband wireline access, mobile data services, hyperscale cloud data centers, and cloud computation and storage markets. Additionally, the proliferation of increasingly complex high frequency, high bandwidth and low-power applications has led to a rapid increase in the demand for systems that require multiple radio frequency, mixed-signal, and high-performance analog and digital signal processing transceiver SoCs. Challenges Faced by Providers of Systems and RF Transceivers and Optical Interconnects Designing and implementing high-frequency, high-bandwidth RF transceiver systems is extremely challenging owing to the high operating frequency ranges and wide frequency bands across which the communication signal is transmitted. As a result, system designers must contend with significantly more sources of interference and signal impairments than in the case of traditional narrow band, low-frequency communication systems. These narrow band single-channel RF transceivers often use conventional radio system architectures that require expensive discrete components, and are fabricated in costly special-purpose semiconductor technologies, such as silicon germanium, gallium arsenide, and RF enhanced CMOS process technologies. The key challenges of capturing and processing high quality broadband communications signals include: • Receiving single or multiple RF/digital communications signals spanning multiple frequency bands over a wide spectrum: Many of the advanced high-data-rate applications require the simultaneous RF reception of multiple channels or frequency bands in order to first aggregate, and then subsequently demodulate, the data signal, which is spread over discrete disparate frequency bands. Likewise, data transmission is achieved by disaggregating the user's data signal and transmitting it over multiple available frequency bands spanning a wide frequency spectrum. For example, in the cable modem and broadband gateway markets, it is necessary to support the simultaneous reception of multiple channels of high-definition video, voice, and data applications in many system designs. OEMs meet these stringent requirements via multiple narrow- or wide-band RF receivers, each of which is dedicated to the reception of a single frequency band. An alternate, but highly challenging, approach involves Full Spectrum Capture (FSCTM) receiver SoCs, which can receive and digitize the entire available RF frequency spectrum in the transmission medium. They can then select and aggregate the relevant frequency bands over which the data is spread using analog and mixed-signal digital co-processing techniques. In contrast, use of multiple discrete conventional narrowband RF receivers is impractical due to increased design complexity, overall cost, circuit board space, power consumption and heat dissipation limitations. In addition, such narrowband receiver implementations suffer from signal integrity issues, reliability, and thermal challenges owing to the proximity of sensitive multiple RF receivers and discrete components in a limited PCB footprint. • Signal Clarity Performance Requirements: In communications systems, performance is limited by the quality of the received/transmitted signal that can be supported throughout the channel bandwidth. Signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio measures the strength of the desired signal relative to the sum of the noise and undesired signal energy in the same channel. High capacity 5G wireless cellular data networks operate across non-contiguous wireless spectrum bands, while wired coaxial cable and power-line networks require broadband RF transceivers supporting high SNR. Optical transceivers operate across the widest bandwidths available and must preserve the necessary SNR throughout their bandwidth. These transceiver systems must isolate the desired signals from the undesired signals that are invariably present in their wide operating frequency range. The undesired 5


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    Table of Contents signals not only include the noise generated by the natural environment, but also interference produced by home appliances, enterprise communications equipment, and other wireless networking systems. For example, in 5G mobile infrastructure applications, a radio transceiver receiving a channel at 1710MHz must cope with reflections in the environment as well as interference from a neighboring channel at 1660MHz picked up by the receiving antenna. The transceiver must also compensate for distortion introduced by the strong signals out of the transmitting antenna. Analog and digital signal processing is employed to improve SNR in the received and transmitted signals. Beamforming and MIMO of radio signals also significantly improves signal-to-noise ratio, but requires sophisticated RF, analog and digital signal co-processing, and software expertise. Broadband reception and beamforming of RF signals in mobile environments are extremely difficult to implement due to the stringent size, cost, and power consumption constraints. Also, higher order modulation of communication signals requires extremely high SNR to maximize data capacity in a finite spectrum, which greatly increases the difficulty of implementing broadband systems. • Power Consumption: Power consumption has become a major concern inside communication systems, including home access gateways, wireless base-stations and data center infrastructure applications. For example, inside the home, Wi-Fi capacity and bandwidth improvement require increasing the number of transceivers per access point with greater channel bandwidths. As a result, the home Wi-Fi gateway has significant heat dissipation challenges within the system due to the increase in power consumption. Likewise, within the data center, physical limitations in the ability to remove heat efficiently from network switches, and the optical transceivers plugged into them, are the main obstacles to increasing data center network bandwidth at and beyond 400Gbps speed per optical transceiver. These switches and transceivers now consume an increasingly significant fraction of total data center power. In 5G wireless access infrastructure applications, the cost of provisioning power to base-station antenna towers and the operating cost attributable to energy consumption is high. In many multiple-transceiver system designs, a majority of the system’s overall power consumption can be ascribed to radio transceivers. • Size: The size of electronic components, such as RF transceivers and digital signal processing SoCs, is a key consideration for system designers and the service providers that deploy them. In wired optical infrastructure applications inside data centers, rapidly increasing network server and switch face-plate density trends are aggressively driving reduction of the size of optical transceiver interconnects. In 5G wireless infrastructure, space on the base-station radio towers where the radios and modems are mounted, is highly constrained and is a significant portion of operating costs. The deployment of massive MIMO and antenna arrays, and cell densification for 5G wireless coverage and capacity, greatly increase the number of radio transceivers required in each base station radio tower and the number of base stations in a cell. As a result, there is a growing trend and an increasing need for highly complex integrated SoCs with greater numbers of transceivers per SoC. There are also challenges that are specific to the processing of high-speed optical interconnect signals in our target data center markets. ◦ Optical Fiber Channel Impairments: The inherent optical properties of the fiber material result in impairments to the optical signal as it propagates along the fiber. These impairments degrade signal integrity due to the loss of light intensity and other adverse modal, chromatic and polarization dispersion effects on the propagating light. Further, electrical signal impairments are introduced in the process of conversion of optical signals to electrical signals, which together reduce the maximum data throughput and limit the distance over which data can propagate over fiber. Therefore, communications SoCs present inside optical modules (often referred to as digital signal processors or DSPs) are required to correct both electrical and optical signal impairments at both ends of the fiber termination. ◦ Photonics Device Technology: Today’s state-of-the art in photonic device technology lags the rapidly increasing speed requirements of data traffic within cloud data centers and optical transport links between telecom data centers. This imposes severe limits to the high-speed conversion of electrical signals to optical signals, and vice versa, owing to the bandwidth limitations, nonlinearities, and noise properties in lasers, modulators, and photo detectors used in optical modules. ◦ Form Factor: Optical transceivers are required to conform to multi-source agreement (MSA) standardized form factors, which in turn determine the number of transceiver ports that can fit in the face plates of standard server, storage, and switch rack units. Standardization of transceiver form factors and rack unit face plates allows data center operators to upgrade network speeds of existing installations by simply replacing older optical transceivers and switches with newer faster ones, rather than having to overhaul installed fiber infrastructure and floorplan. The dimensions of the standard face plate impose a severe constraint on the amount of heat that can be practically removed from a rack unit. A major challenge facing optical transceiver SoCs is to support exponentially growing data rates within the standardized form factor and thermal constraints. 6


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    Table of Contents Our RF, Mixed-Signal and Digital SoC Platform Solutions We are a provider of communications systems-on-chip solutions for the connected home, mobile and wireline infrastructure, data centers, and industrial and multi-market applications. Our products exemplify our core integrated circuit design and communications systems engineering capabilities: • Proprietary broadband/RF, analog and mixed-signal transceiver front ends: Our analog and mixed-signal IC designers implement complex broadband radio transceiver front-ends and data converters in standard silicon CMOS processes, which enables single-die integration of a complete digital signal processing communication system. This results in state-of-the-art performance, highest energy efficiency or lowest power, smallest form factor, and the lowest manufacturing cost of a target function. For example, in cable DOCSIS3.1 data gateways, our single-chip Full Spectrum Capture (FSC) receivers digitize the entire cable spectrum and aggregate multiple frequency bands or channels using analog and digital signal co-processing to enable multi-gigabit data services. There is a 100-fold reduction in power per unit bandwidth while increasing the total data throughput by an even greater factor. Our high-performance mixed-signal design capability, which involves the high-speed conversion of signals precisely and efficiently between analog and digital domains, is core to all our products and market applications, including high-speed optical interconnect applications inside data centers, 5G Access infrastructure MMIMO radios, and millimeter wave and microwave wireless backhaul transport. • Advanced digital signal processing ASIC design and algorithms: Our signal processing algorithm and digital ASIC design expertise is at the core of our ability to employ digital signal processing to enable breakthroughs in CMOS analog RF front-end design and vice-versa. For example, impairments introduced by analog systems such as power amplifiers and photonics devices are canceled using sophisticated digital signal processing algorithms to achieve superior signal quality, reduce power consumption, and improve the speed of operation. Communication systems across a range of our current and future target markets share common signal processing functions, such as efficient error control coding, compensation for transmission medium or channel induced impairments, and digital processing of wideband signals. As such, algorithmic breakthroughs in one application are directly applicable to other product areas. • Embedded systems and software architecture: Our products contain complex integrated CPU subsystems. These subsystems typically include multiple low-power microprocessor cores, packet processor, bus and peripherals, memory controllers, and interrupt processing. In addition to signal processing and supervisory activity functions, we also implement multiple layers of real-time embedded firmware and protocol stacks on a single chip. We believe our expertise and track record of successfully developing widely deployed, reliable embedded protocols for networking applications are essential to the evolution of connected home products of the future. Our firmware design capability is critical to the ease of use of our products in end customer platforms. • Architecture and system design for highly integrated end-to-end communication platform solutions:Our novel design techniques tradeoff individual signal path circuit level performance to optimize the overall system performance. Our holistic platform and system level design approach eliminates costly, and power-hungry overdesign of individual circuit elements. It allows us to address more complex customer problems that require a deeper understanding of the customer’s end product. Our products not only integrate the entire physical layer (PHY), but also implement complete protocol stacks along with ready-for-use product level interface functionality and associated platform software. We also provide the most efficient and cost-effective platform level power management IC solutions that regulate and monitor the power consumption for our chips and other circuits on the platform. The integration of the entire system on a single-chip or utilizing minimal number of silicon dies reduces the number of external board-level components, decreases board space, improves performance, simplifies customers’ product design, and significantly reduces power consumption. • Low-power design methodology: The superior energy efficiency of our products reflects our years of cumulative experience and R&D investment in system architecture, semiconductor device modeling, and integrated circuit design expertise. At extremely high data rates, when electrical signals transit on and off the chip, there is a severe penalty in speed and power consumption. Therefore, significant reduction in power consumption of a device requires minimization of signal transitions between multiple chips. Our ability to achieve the highest levels of integration of all analog/RF and digital signal processing functionality on the same chip minimizes power consumption by eliminating such signal transitions. Our solutions disproportionately impact our end-customer’s product power dissipation, such as in cable modems, cable FDX fiber nodes, 400Gbps optical transceiver modules, and large 5G antenna radio transceiver arrays. Low power dissipation not only simplifies costly thermal design, but also eliminates the need for bulky fans and other cooling aids. This in turn improves end customer product reliability, increases the density of product features that can be supported in a compact footprint, and reduces overall system cost. 7


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    Table of Contents • Scalable Platform: Our products share common, modular components such as data converters, radio architectures, signal processing algorithms, and digital signal processing circuit architectures, which enables us to offer fully integrated broadband RF transceiver based digital communication SoC solutions across a wide variety of markets while meeting the stringent performance requirements of these end market applications and standards. This contrasts to legacy solutions that require significant customization to conform to the various regional standards, technical performance and product feature requirements. As a result, our customers can minimize their design resources required to develop applications for multiple target markets using our platform solutions. In addition, we are able to deploy our engineering resources more efficiently to both diversify and address larger communications end markets. Our Strategy Our objective is to be the leading provider of communications SoCs for the connected home, wired and wireless infrastructure, and industrial and multi-market applications. We aim to continue to leverage our core analog and digital signal co-processing competencies to expand into other communications markets with similar performance requirements. The key elements of our strategy are: • Extend Technology Leadership in RF Transceivers and RF Transceiver + Digital Signal Processing + Embedded Processor SoCs: We believe that our success thus far is largely attributable to a combination of our RF and mixed-signal design capability together with advanced digital design expertise. We have leveraged this core competency to develop high-performance, low-cost semiconductor solutions for broadband communications applications spanning the connected home, wireless access and backhaul network infrastructure, and high-speed fiber-optic modules for data center, metro, and long-haul infrastructure markets. We will continue to invest in this capability and strive to be an innovation leader in this market. • Leverage and Expand our Existing Customer Base: We target customers who are leaders in their respective markets. We intend to continue to focus on sales to customers who are leaders in our current target markets, and to build on our relationships with these leading customers to define and enhance our product roadmap. By solving the specific problems faced by our customers, we can minimize the risks associated with our customers’ adoption of our new integrated circuit products and reduce the length of time from the start of product design to customer revenue. Further, engaging with market leaders will enable us to participate in emerging technology trends and new industry standards. • Target Additional High-Growth Markets: Our core competency is in RF analog and mixed-signal integrated circuit design in CMOS process technology. Several of the technological challenges involved in developing RF solutions for video broadcasting and broadband reception are common to a majority of broader communications markets. We intend to leverage our core competency in developing highly integrated RF transceiver and RF transceiver SoCs in standard CMOS process technology to address additional markets within broadband communications, communications infrastructure, and connectivity markets that we believe offer high growth potential. • Expand Global Presence: Due to the global nature of our supply chain and customer locations, we intend to continue to expand our sales, design and technical support organization both in the United States and overseas. In particular, we expect to align our regional support to our customer base. We believe that our customers will increasingly expect this kind of local capability and support. • Attract and Retain Top Talent: We are committed to recruiting and retaining highly talented personnel with proven expertise in the design, development, marketing and sales of communications integrated circuits. We believe that we have assembled a high-quality team in all the areas of expertise required at an integrated circuit design and communications systems company. We provide an attractive work environment for all of our employees. We believe that our ability to attract the best engineers is a critical component of our future growth and success in our chosen markets. Customers We sell our products, directly and indirectly, to original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, module makers and original design manufacturers, or ODMs, and we refer to these as our end customers. By providing a highly integrated reference design solution that our customers can incorporate in their products with minimal modifications, we enable our customers to design cost-effective high-performance SoC-based solutions rapidly. A significant portion of our sales are through distributors based in Asia, who then resell our product. A significant portion of our net revenue has historically been generated by a limited number of customers. In the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, ten customers accounted for approximately 68%, 63% and 61% of our net revenue, respectively. In the year ended December 31, 2020, two of our direct customers represented 28% of our net revenue. In the 8


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    Table of Contents years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, one of our direct customers, CommScope Holding Company, Inc., or Commscope, represented 14% and 18%, respectively, of our net revenue. Products shipped to Asia accounted for 82%, 84% and 81% of our net revenue in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Products shipped to Hong Kong accounted for 42%, 46%, and 43% of our net revenue in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Products shipped to China accounted for 17%, 14% and 19% of our net revenue in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Although a large percentage of our products are shipped to Asia, we believe that a significant number of the systems designed by these customers and incorporating our semiconductor products are then sold outside Asia. For example, revenue generated from sales of our cable modem products during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 related principally to sales to Asian ODM’s and contract manufacturers delivering products into European and North American markets. To date, all of our sales have been denominated in United States dollars. See Note 14 to our consolidated financial statements, included in Part IV, Item 15 of this Report for a discussion of total revenue by geographical region for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018. Sales and Marketing We sell our products worldwide through multiple channels, using our direct sales force, third party sales representatives, and a network of domestic and international distributors. We have direct sales personnel covering the United States, Europe and Asia. We also employ a staff of field applications engineers to provide direct engineering support locally to some of our customers. Our distributors are independent entities that assist us in identifying and servicing customers in a particular territory, usually on a non-exclusive basis. Sales to distributors accounted for approximately 49%, 52%, and 42% of our net revenue in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. Our sales cycles typically require a significant amount of time and a substantial expenditure of resources before we can realize revenue from the sale of products, if any. Our typical sales cycle consists of a multi-month sales and development process involving our customers’ system designers and management. We generally receive purchase orders from our customers approximately six to twenty-six weeks prior to the scheduled product delivery date. Because of the scheduling requirements of our foundries and assembly and test contractors, we generally provide our contractors production forecasts six to twelve months in advance and place firm orders for products with our suppliers up to twenty-six weeks prior to the anticipated delivery date, in some cases without a purchase order from our own customers. Our standard warranty provides that products containing defects in materials, workmanship or product performance may be returned for a refund of the purchase price or for replacement, at our discretion. Raw Materials As a fabless designer of integrated circuits, we do not directly procure raw materials and instead, rely on third parties to manufacture, assemble and test, or supply, our products, as described in further detail under the below heading “Manufacturing.” To a lesser extent, we also purchase certain turnkey, or finished goods product, for resale. Raw materials used by third party foundries, assembly and test contractors and turnkey product vendors include silicon wafers, as well as lead frames or substrate materials, gold or copper wires, and molding compounds used in assembly/packaging and test of our products. We work closely with our vendors in providing a supplier forecast 6-12 months in advance to ensure they have an adequate supply of raw materials to cover our forecast. Manufacturing We use third-party foundries and assembly and test contractors to manufacture, assemble and test our products. We also rely on certain vendors to supply turnkey products, including, in particular, Intel Corporation for certain products we sell following our acquisition of Intel’s Home Gateway Platform Division in July 2020. This outsourced manufacturing approach allows us to focus our resources on the design, sale and marketing of our products. Our engineers work closely with our foundries and other contractors to increase yield, lower manufacturing costs and improve product quality while maintaining a socially responsible supply chain. Wafer Fabrication. We utilize an increasing range of process technologies to manufacture our products, from standard CMOS to more exotic processes including SiGe and GaAs. Within this range of processes, we use a variety of process technology nodes ranging from 0.18µ down to 14 nanometer. We depend on independent silicon foundry manufacturers to support our wafer fabrication requirements. Our key foundry partners include Global Foundries Inc. in Singapore, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation or SMIC in China, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation 9


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    Table of Contents or TSMC in Taiwan, and United Microelectronics Corporation or UMC in Taiwan and Singapore. We generally do not depend on a single source for the supply of our materials. Additionally, certain of the acquired products of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business are supplied to us under the terms of a supply agreement with Intel. Assembly/packaging and Test. Upon completion of the silicon processing at the foundry, we forward the finished silicon wafers to independent assembly/packaging and test service subcontractors. The majority of our assembly/packaging and test requirements are supported by the following independent subcontractors: Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, or ASE, Amkor Technology, Giga Solution Technology Co. Ltd., SIGURD Microelectronics Corp., Unisem (M) Berhad and United Test and Assembly Center, or UTAC Holdings Ltd. Quality Assurance. We have implemented significant quality assurance procedures to assure high levels of product quality for our customers. Our operations are certified under ISO 9001:2015 standards. We closely monitor the work-in-progress information and production records maintained by our suppliers, and communicate with our third- party contractors to assure high levels of product quality and an efficient manufacturing time cycle. Upon successful completion of the quality assurance procedures, all of our products are stored and shipped to our customers or distributors directly from our third-party contractors in accordance with our shipping instructions. Corporate Social Responsibility As we continue to expand our presence around the world, we are mindful of our responsibility to maintain a socially responsible supply chain, reduce our carbon footprint, and give back to our local communities. Socially responsible supply chain. We are committed to the use of a socially responsible supply chain to reduce the risk of human rights violations and the use of conflict minerals (tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold, or 3TG) from the Democratic Republic of Congo and certain adjoining countries. Our efforts include maintaining a supplier policy which bars the use of forced or child labor and slavery and a conflict minerals policy governing the use and distribution of 3TG minerals, as well as conducting due diligence before allowing a potential supplier to become a preferred supplier. We request the return of reporting forms related to conflict minerals from our suppliers under the Responsible Minerals Initiative, or RMI, Conflict Minerals Survey. Further, we seek to remove any suppliers that continue to fail to meet our supplier and conflict minerals policies after being provided the opportunity to remedy non-compliance via implementation of a corrective action plan. We also conduct recurring internal trainings for all employees and certain select contractors on export compliance, anti-corruption and anti-slavery, and insider trading. Reduce our carbon footprint. We aim to reduce the environmental impact of our products. We provide products to our customers that use approved environmentally- friendly materials, prevent pollution by minimizing waste and promoting recycling of reusable materials, and provide customer satisfaction through compliance with global environmental regulations as they relate to our products and operations. Contributing to community. We encourage our employees to contribute to local communities. In 2020, the Company’s U.S. employees organized a fund-raising campaign to feed the hungry in local communities, which has increased as a result of closures and job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with a matching corporate contribution from the Company, the campaign raised in excess of $60 thousand, benefiting Feeding America, a U.S. hunger- relief organization. Research and Development We believe that our future success depends on our ability to both improve our existing products and to develop new products for both existing and new markets. We direct our research and development efforts largely to the development of new high-performance, mixed-signal RF transceivers and SOCs for the connected home, wired and wireless infrastructure, and industrial and multi-market applications. We target applications that require stringent overall system performance and low power consumption. As new and challenging communication applications proliferate, we believe that many of these applications may benefit from our SoC solutions combining analog and mixed- signal processing with digital signal processing functions. We have assembled a team of highly skilled semiconductor and embedded software design engineers with expertise in broadband RF, mixed-signal and high-performance analog integrated circuit design, digital signal processing, communications systems and SoC design. As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 1,069 employees in our research and development group. Our engineering design teams are located in Carlsbad, Irvine, and San Jose in California; Boston, Massachusetts; Singapore; Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong in China; Taipei and Hsinchu in Taiwan; Bangalore, India; and Austria, Germany, Israel, Spain, and Canada. Competition We compete with both established and development-stage semiconductor companies that design, manufacture and market analog and mixed-signal broadband RF receivers, optical interconnects, high-performance interface, data and video 10


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    Table of Contents compression and encryption, and power management products. Our competitors include companies with much longer operating histories, greater name recognition, access to larger customer bases and substantially greater financial, technical and operational resources, as well as smaller companies specializing in narrow markets, to internal or vertically integrated engineering groups within certain of our customers. In addition, our industry is experiencing substantial consolidation. As a result, our competitors are increasingly large multi-national semi-conductor companies with substantial market influence. Our competitors may develop products that are similar or superior to ours. We consider our primary competitors to be companies with a proven track record of supporting market leaders and the technical capability to develop and bring to market competing broadband RF receiver and RF receiver SoC, modem, and optical interconnect products. Our primary merchant semiconductor competitors include Silicon Laboratories, Inc., NXP Semiconductors N.V., MediaTek, Inc., Broadcom Ltd, Rafael Microelectronics, Inc., Inphi Corporation, M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc., Semtech Corporation, Qorvo Inc., Texas Instruments Incorporated, HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd., Analog Devices, Inc., Renesas Electronics Corporation, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (which recently entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Analog Devices), Monolithic Power Systems, Inc., Microchip Technology, Inc., Ambarella, Inc., and Infineon Technologies AG. Because our products often are building block semiconductors which provide functions that in some cases can be integrated into more complex integrated circuits, we also face competition from manufacturers of integrated circuits, some of which may be existing customers or platform partners that develop their own integrated circuit products. If we cannot offer an attractive solution for applications where our competitors offer more fully integrated products, we may lose significant market share to our competitors. Some of our targeted customers for our optical interconnect solutions are module makers who are vertically integrated, where we compete with internally supplied components, and we compete with much larger analog and mixed-signal catalog competitors in the multi-market high-performance analog markets. The market for RF, mixed-signal and high-performance analog semiconductor products is highly competitive, and we believe that it will grow more competitive as a result of continued technological advances. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our markets include the following: • product performance; • features and functionality; • energy efficiency; • size; • ease of system design; • customer support; • product roadmap; • reputation; • reliability; and • price. We believe that we compete favorably as measured against each of these criteria. However, our ability to compete in the future will depend upon the successful design, development and marketing of compelling RF, analog, digital, and mixed-signal semiconductor integrated solutions for high growth communications markets. In addition, our competitive position will depend on our ability to continue to attract and retain talent while protecting our intellectual property. Intellectual Property Rights Our success and ability to compete depend, in part, upon our ability to establish and adequately protect our proprietary technology and confidential information. To protect our technology and confidential information, we rely on a combination of intellectual property rights, including patents, trade secrets, copyrights and trademarks. We also protect our proprietary technology and confidential information through the use of internal and external controls, including contractual protections with employees, contractors, business partners, consultants and advisors. Protecting mask works, or the “topography” or semiconductor material designs, of our integrated circuit products is of particular importance to our business and we seek to prevent or limit the ability of others to copy, reproduce or distribute our mask works. 11


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    Table of Contents We have 1,716 issued patents and 83 patent applications pending in the United States. We also have 349 issued foreign patents and 76 other pending foreign patent applications, based on our issued patents and pending patent applications in the United States. We are the owner of approximately 10 trademarks that have been registered and/or allowed for registration in the United States. We own foreign counterparts (including approximately 36 foreign registrations) of certain of these registered trademarks in Canada, Chile, China, the EU, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. We also claim common law rights in certain other trademarks that are not registered. We may not gain any competitive advantages from our patents and other intellectual property rights. Our existing and future patents may be circumvented, designed around, blocked or challenged as to inventorship, ownership, scope, validity or enforceability. It is possible that we may be provided with information in the future that could negatively affect the scope or enforceability of either our present or future patents. Furthermore, our pending and future patent applications may or may not be granted under the scope of the claims originally submitted in our patent applications. The scope of the claims submitted or granted may or may not be sufficiently broad to protect our proprietary technologies. Moreover, we have adopted a strategy of seeking limited patent protection with respect to the technologies used in or relating to our products. We are a party to a number of license agreements for various technologies, such as a license agreement with Intel Corporation relating to demodulator technologies that are licensed specifically for use in our products for cable gateways. The license agreement with Intel Corporation has a perpetual term, but Intel Corporation may terminate the agreement for any uncured material breach or in the event of bankruptcy. If the agreement is terminated, we would not be able to manufacture or sell products that contain the demodulator technology licensed from Intel Corporation, and there would be a delay in the shipment of our products containing the technology until we found a replacement for the demodulator technology in the marketplace on commercially reasonable terms or we developed the demodulator technology itself. We believe we could find a substitute for the currently licensed demodulator technology in the marketplace on commercially reasonable terms or develop the demodulator technology ourselves. In either case, obtaining new licenses or replacing existing technology could have a material adverse effect on our business, as described in “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Intellectual Property — .” We utilize a significant amount of intellectual property in our business. If we are unable to protect our intellectual property, our business could be adversely affected The semiconductor industry is characterized by frequent litigation and other vigorous offensive and protective enforcement actions over rights to intellectual property. Moreover, there are numerous patents in the semiconductor industry, and new patents are being granted rapidly worldwide. Our competitors may obtain patents that block or limit our ability to develop new technology and/or improve our existing products. If our products were found to infringe any patents or other intellectual property rights held by third parties, we could be prevented from selling our products or be subject to litigation fees, statutory fines and/or other significant expenses. We may be required to initiate litigation in order to enforce any patents issued to us, or to determine the scope or validity of a third-party’s patent or other proprietary rights. We may in the future be contacted by third parties suggesting that we seek a license to intellectual property rights that they may believe we are infringing. In addition, in the future, we may be subject to lawsuits by third parties seeking to enforce their own intellectual property rights, as described in “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Intellectual Property — We have settled in the past intellectual property litigation and may face additional claims of intellectual property infringement. Current litigation and any future litigation could be time-consuming, costly to defend or settle and result in the loss of significant rights” and in “Item 3 — Legal Proceedings.” Governmental Regulation Our business and operations around the world are subject to government regulation at the national, state, provincial, or local level addressing, among other matters, applicable environmental laws; health and safety laws and regulations adopted by government agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; laws relating to export controls and economic sanctions; and the rules of industrial standards bodies such as the International Standards Organization and governmental agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission. We believe that our properties and operations comply in all material respects with applicable laws protecting the environment and worker health and safety. We do not manufacture our own products but do maintain laboratory space at certain of our facilities to facilitate the development, evaluation, and testing of our products. These laboratories may maintain quantities of hazardous materials. While we believe we are in material compliance with applicable law concerning the safeguarding of these materials and with respect to other matters relating to health, safety, and the environment, the risk of liability relating to hazardous conditions or materials cannot be eliminated completely. To date, we have not incurred significant 12


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    Table of Contents expenditures relating to environmental compliance at our facilities nor have we experienced any material issues relating to employee health and safety. We cannot provide assurances, however, that issues will not arise in the future or that applicable law will not require us to incur significant compliance expenditures. In addition to environmental laws, our business is subject to various rules and regulations and executive orders relating to export controls and trade sanctions. Certain of our products are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which are administered by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), and we are periodically required to obtain an export license before we can export certain controlled products or technology to specified countries or customers. In addition, the EAR imposes broad controls on entities listed on sanctioned persons lists, including the BIS “Denied Persons” list and BIS Entity list. If one of our customers is listed on the BIS Entity List, BIS List of Denied Persons, or other U.S. government sanctioned persons list, then subject to certain limited exceptions, we will, as a general rule, be precluded from doing business with that customer. We cannot guarantee that export control restrictions or imposition of sanctions imposed in the future will not prevent, or materially limit, our ability to conduct business certain customers or in certain countries. Any failure to comply with these laws could result in governmental enforcement actions, including substantial monetary penalties and denial of export privileges. Employees and Human Capital Our future success depends on our ability to retain, attract and motivate qualified personnel, especially our design and technical personnel, but also our senior management and support personnel. As the source of our technological and product innovations, our design and technical personnel represent a significant asset. We emphasize our core values of Excellence, People, Integrity, and Compassion (EPIC) in our hiring and human resources practices as well as our customer service. We have a diverse workforce that represents many cultures and we celebrate our diversity by fostering inclusion across our multi-national organization. We acknowledge that we, along with the semiconductor and technology industry as a whole, can do more to advance gender and racial equality by increasing representation of underrepresented minorities as well as females in leadership and technical positions including engineering and other roles. As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 1420 employees, including 1,069 in research and development, 200 in sales and marketing, 46 in operations and semiconductor technology and 105 in administration. We have employees across 18 countries: 38% are in Asia, 29% in the Americas, 19% in Europe and 14% in the Middle East. Our workforce is represented by the following race/ethnicities: 53% Asian, 40% White or Middle Eastern, 7% Latinx or Hispanic origin, with 36% Asian and 64% White or Middle Eastern in senior management. Females represented 14% of our outside directors, 9% of senior management, 10% of our technical roles, and 18% of our total workforce. Of our total employee workforce, 13% is represented by Work Councils in Austria and Germany. The Work Council groups, common to these countries, are comprised of employees elected by the general employee base. We consider our global employee relations to be good. In 2020, our employee voluntary turnover rate was 8%. Our human capital resources objectives include, as applicable, attracting and retaining talented and experienced employees, advisors, and consultants. We utilize multiple online search tools, specialized recruiting firms, employee referral programs and university hires to ensure a varied outreach approach for candidates. We aim to reduce the gender pay gap that is pervasive in our industry. We offer this via a combination of competitive base salary, time-based equity incentives and bonus plans linked to financial performance that are designed to motivate and reward personnel with annual grants of stock-based and cash-based incentive compensation awards to our employees, some of which vest over a period of four years, plus other benefits, in order to increase stockholder value and the success of our company by motivating such individuals to perform to the best of their abilities and achieve both our short and long-term objectives. We offer competitive benefits tailored to local markets and laws and designed to support employee health, welfare and retirement; examples of such benefits may include paid time off; 401(k), pension or other retirement plans; employee stock purchase plan; basic and voluntary life, disability and supplemental insurance; medical, dental and vision insurance; health savings and flexible spending accounts; relocation assistance; and employee assistance programs. Our global training and development program focuses on harassment-free workplace and diversity topics, as well as ethics and export compliance. Our executive compensation structure aligns executive incentives with the long-term growth objectives of MaxLinear, including long-term share price appreciation. In that regard, our executive compensation programs have tended to place a relatively heavier weighting on equity compensation than our peers and include a performance-based metric to executives’ equity incentives in addition to other forms of compensation offered to all employees. For more details regarding our executive compensation, refer to information incorporated by reference from the information set forth under the captions “Executive Compensation” and “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” in either an amendment to this Annual Report on Form 10-K or our 2021 Proxy Statement. 13


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    Table of Contents In 2020, our ongoing focus on workplace safety and compliance to applicable regulations has enabled us to preserve business continuity while ensuring a safe work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, including work-from-home arrangements for a substantial portion of our workforce and reduced capacity for those that have returned to the office, adhering to local health authority guidelines. We also comply with applicable laws and regulations regarding workplace safety and are subject to audits by entities such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States. We rely on third parties to manufacture our products and require our suppliers to maintain a safe work environment, as described in further detail under the below heading “Manufacturing.” Seasonality The semiconductor industry is highly cyclical and is characterized by constant and rapid technological change, rapid product obsolescence and price erosion, evolving technical standards, short product life cycles and wide fluctuations in product supply and demand. From time to time, these and other factors, together with changes in general economic conditions, cause significant upturns and downturns in the industry, and in our business in particular. In addition, our operating results are subject to substantial quarterly and annual fluctuations due to a number of factors, such as the overall demand volatility for semiconductor solutions across a diverse range of communications, industrial and multimarket applications, the timing of receipt, reduction or cancellation of significant orders, the gain or loss of significant customers, market acceptance of our products and our customers’ products, our ability to timely develop, introduce and market new products and technologies, the availability and cost of products from our suppliers, new product and technology introductions by competitors, intellectual property disputes and the timing and extent of product development costs. ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS This Annual Report on Form 10-K, or Form 10-K, including any information incorporated by reference herein, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, referred to as the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, referred to as the Exchange Act. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “intend,” “forecast,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. The forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-K involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and situations that may cause our or our industry’s actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include those listed below in this Item 1A and those discussed elsewhere in this Form 10-K. We encourage investors to review these factors carefully. We may from time to time make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in our filings with the SEC. However, we do not undertake to update any forward- looking statement that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of us, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. Before you invest in our securities, you should be aware that our business faces numerous financial and market risks, including those described below, as well as general economic and business risks. The following discussion provides information concerning the material risks and uncertainties that we have identified and believe may adversely affect our business, our financial condition and our results of operations. Before you decide whether to invest in our securities, you should carefully consider these risks and uncertainties, together with all of the other information included in this Form 10-K and in our other public filings, which could materially affect our business, financial condition or future results. Risk Factor Summary Risks Relating to our Acquisitions • Our actual financial and operating results could differ materially from any expectations or guidance provided by us concerning future results, including with respect to any cost savings and other potential synergies. • Failure to integrate the acquired businesses successfully in the expected time-frame may adversely affect our results and financial condition. • Our business relationships, including customer relationships, may be subject to disruption due to uncertainty associated with the acquisitions. • We may have difficulty motivating and retaining key personnel in light of the acquisitions. 14


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    Table of Contents • We have incurred material secured term loan indebtedness which adversely affects our operating results and cash-flows and contains covenants that could adversely affect our operational freedom and ability to pursue strategic transactions. Risks Related to Our Business • Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. • We face intense competition expected to increase in the future, which could have an adverse effect on our revenue, revenue growth rate, if any, and market share. • We depend on a limited number of customers, who themselves are dependent on a consolidating set of service provider customers, for a substantial portion of our revenue, and the loss of, or a significant reduction in orders from our major customers could have a material adverse effect on our revenue and operating results. • A significant, but declining portion of our revenue is attributable to demand for our products in markets for broadband (previously connected home) solutions, and development delays and consolidation trends among cable and satellite Pay-TV and broadband operators could adversely affect our future revenues and operating results. • If we fail to penetrate new applications and markets, our revenue, revenue growth rate, if any, and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. • We may be unable to make the substantial and productive research and development investments that are required to remain competitive in our business. • A significant variance in our operating results or rates of growth, if any, could lead to substantial volatility in our stock price. We may not sustain our current growth rate, and we may not be able to manage future growth effectively. • The complexity of our products could result in unforeseen delays or expenses caused by undetected defects or bugs, which could reduce the market acceptance of our new products, damage our reputation and adversely affect our operating costs. • Average selling prices of our products could decrease rapidly, which would have a material adverse effect on our revenue and gross margins. • If we fail to develop and introduce new or enhanced products on a timely basis, our ability to attract and retain customers could be impaired and our competitive position could be harmed. • We are subject to order and shipment uncertainties, and differences between our estimates of customer demand and product mix and our actual results could negatively affect our inventory levels, sales and operating results. • We may have difficulty accurately predicting our future revenue and appropriately budgeting our expenses particularly as we seek to enter new markets where we may not have prior experience. • If we are unable to attract, train and retain qualified design and technical personnel, we may not be able to execute our business strategy effectively. • Our business would be adversely affected by the departure of existing members of our senior management team. • Our customers require our products and our third-party contractors to undergo a lengthy and expensive qualification process which does not assure product sales. • Winning business is subject to lengthy competitive selection processes that require us to incur significant expenditures and customers may decide to cancel or change their product plans, which could cause us to generate no revenue from a product and adversely affect our results of operations. • Our operating results are subject to substantial quarterly and annual fluctuations due to a number of factors that could adversely affect our business and our stock price. • We are subject to the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry. • Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected by political and economic conditions and other factors related to our international operations. • Our business is subject to various governmental regulations, and if we fail to maintain compliance, we may be forced to recall products and cease their manufacture and distribution, and we could be subject to civil or criminal penalties. 15


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    Table of Contents Risks Relating to Intellectual Property • We may face future claims of intellectual property infringement, which could be time-consuming, costly to defend or settle and result in the loss of significant rights. • If we are unable to protect our significant amount of intellectual property, our business could be adversely affected. • We have been and may be subject to future information technology failures, including data protection breaches and cyber-attacks, that could disrupt our operations, damage our reputation and adversely affect our business, operations, and financial results. Risks Relating to Reliance on Third Parties • We rely on a limited number of third parties to manufacture, assemble, and test our products, and the failure to manage our relationships with our third-party contractors successfully, or impacts from natural disasters, public health crises, or other labor stoppages in the regions where such contractors operate, could adversely affect our ability to market and sell our products. • Should any of our distributors cease or be forced to stop distributing our products, our business would suffer. • We do not have any long-term supply contracts with our contract manufacturers or suppliers, and any disruption in our supply of products or materials could have a material adverse effect on our business, revenue and operating results. • We rely on third parties to provide services and technology necessary for the operation of our business. Any failure of one or more of our partners, vendors, suppliers or licensors to provide these services or technology could have a material adverse effect on our business. Risks Relating to Our Common Stock • Our management team may use our available cash and cash equivalents in ways with which you may not agree or in ways which may not yield a return. • Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of us more difficult, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management and limit the market price of our common stock. • Our share price may be volatile as a result of various factors. Risks Relating to our Acquisitions Our actual financial and operating results could differ materially from any expectations or guidance provided by us concerning future results, including (without limitation) expectations or guidance with respect to the financial impact of any cost savings and other potential synergies. We currently expect to realize material synergies as a result of our acquisitions of the Home Gateway Platform Division of Intel Corporation, or Intel, which we refer to as the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business, and NanoSemi, Inc., or NanoSemi, and as a result, we currently believe that the acquisitions will, in aggregate, be accretive to our free cash-flow and non-GAAP earnings per share, excluding upfront non-recurring charges, transaction related expenses, the amortization of purchased intangible assets, and inventory fair value adjustments. The expectations and guidance we have provided with respect to the potential financial impact of the acquisitions are subject to numerous assumptions, however, including assumptions derived from our diligence efforts concerning the status of and prospects for the acquired businesses and assumptions relating to the near-term prospects for the semiconductor industry generally and the markets for the products of the acquired businesses in particular. The integration of the acquired businesses may present substantial incremental challenges that could materially and adversely affect our ability to realize the currently anticipated financial, operational, and strategic benefits of the acquisitions. Additional assumptions that could affect currently anticipated results relate to numerous matters, including (without limitation) the following: • projections of the acquired businesses’ future revenues; • the anticipated financial performance of products of the acquired businesses and products currently in development; 16


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    Table of Contents • anticipated cost savings and other synergies associated with the acquisitions, including potential revenue synergies; • our capital structure after the acquisitions; • the amount of goodwill and intangibles that resulted from the acquisitions; • certain other purchase accounting adjustments that we recorded in our financial statements in connection with the acquisitions; • acquisition costs, including restructuring charges and transactions costs to our financial, legal, and accounting advisors; • our ability to maintain, develop, and deepen relationships with customers of the acquired businesses; and • other financial and strategic risks of the acquisitions, including the possible impact of reduced liquidity of MaxLinear resulting from deal-related cash outlays, the credit risk associated from the potential debt facility described below, and continued uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot provide any assurances with respect to the accuracy of our assumptions, including our assumptions with respect to future revenues or revenue growth rates, if any, of the acquired businesses, and we cannot provide assurances with respect to our ability to realize the cost savings that we currently anticipate. Risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from currently anticipated results include, but are not limited to, risks relating to our ability to successfully complete the integration of the acquired businesses; currently unanticipated incremental costs that we may incur in connection with completing the integration of the acquired businesses into MaxLinear’s; risks relating to our ability to realize incremental revenues from the acquisitions in the amounts that we currently anticipate; risks relating to the willingness of the customers and other partners of the acquired businesses to continue to conduct business with MaxLinear; and numerous risks and uncertainties that affect the semiconductor industry generally and the markets for our products and those of the acquired businesses specifically. We believe the continuing pandemic enhances certain of these risks and presents additional uncertainty in our ability to achieve the financial and strategic objectives of the acquisitions. Any failure to integrate the acquired businesses successfully and to realize the financial benefits we currently anticipate from the acquisitions would have a material adverse impact on our future operating results and financial condition and could materially and adversely affect the trading price or trading volume of our common stock. Failure to integrate the acquired businesses with our business and operations successfully in the expected time-frame or otherwise may adversely affect MaxLinear’s operating results and financial condition. The success of the acquisitions of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business and NanoSemi will depend, in substantial part, on our ability to integrate the acquired businesses with MaxLinear and to realize fully the anticipated benefits and potential synergies from the integration, including, among others, currently expected cost savings from duplicative functions; potential operational efficiencies in our respective supply chains and in research and development investments; and potential revenue growth resulting from the addition of the product portfolio of the acquired businesses. Certain of the acquired products of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business are supplied to us on a turnkey basis under the terms of a supply agreement with Intel. While we believe this supply agreement mitigates certain near-term integration risks, we also rely on Intel as a source of supply for these products. Accordingly, this relationship presents similar supply risks as exist with respect to our other products as a fabless semiconductor company dependent on specific foundry relationships. See the Risk Factor entitled “We rely on a limited number of third parties to manufacture, assemble, and test our products, and the failure to manage our relationships with our third-party contractors successfully, or impacts from natural disasters, public health crises, or other labor stoppages in the regions where such contractors operate, could adversely affect our ability to market and sell our products.” We expect that the completion of the integration of two acquired businesses will be complex and time consuming and will require substantial management time and attention, which may divert attention and resources from other important areas, including our existing businesses. We may face significant challenges in consolidating our operations with the acquired businesses and addressing the different corporate cultures of MaxLinear and the acquired businesses. Furthermore, the acquired businesses also operate in jurisdictions materially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which enhances integration risks, in particular risks relating to our ability to retain key employees at a time when engagement is difficult, as described in more detail under the Risk Factor entitled “We may have difficulty motivating and retaining key personnel in light of the acquisitions.” Additional unanticipated costs may be incurred in the course of integrating our respective businesses. If the businesses are not successfully integrated, the anticipated benefits of the acquisitions may not be realized fully or at all or may take longer to realize than expected. In such a case, we would expect our operating results and financial condition to be materially and adversely affected, which could also have a material and adverse effect on the trading price or trading volume of our common stock. 17


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    Table of Contents Our business relationships, including customer relationships, and those of the acquired businesses may be subject to disruption due to uncertainty associated with the acquisitions. In response to the announcement of the acquisitions, customers, vendors, licensors, and other third parties with whom we or the acquired businesses do business or otherwise have relationships may experience uncertainty associated with the acquisitions, and this uncertainty could materially affect their decisions with respect to existing or future business relationships with MaxLinear. As a result, we are in many instances unable to evaluate the impact of the acquisitions on certain assumed contract rights and obligations, including intellectual property rights. These business relationships may be subject to disruption as customers and others may elect to delay or defer purchase or design-win decisions or switch to other suppliers due to the uncertainty about the direction of our offerings, any perceived unwillingness on our part to support existing products of the acquired businesses, or any general perceptions by customers or other third parties that impute operational or business challenges to us arising from the acquisitions. In addition, customers or other third parties may attempt to negotiate changes in existing business relationships, which may result in additional obligations imposed on us. These disruptions could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. Any loss of customers, customer products, design win opportunities, or other important strategic relationships could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition and could have a material and adverse effect on the trading price or trading volume of our common stock. We may have difficulty motivating and retaining key personnel in light of the acquisitions. Uncertainty about the effect of the acquisitions on key employees may have an adverse effect on MaxLinear or the acquired businesses. Employee retention may be particularly challenging as our employees may experience frustrations during the integration process and uncertainty about their future roles with us following completion of integration of the acquired businesses, which also operate in jurisdictions materially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Attempting to complete the integration of these acquired businesses and new personnel around the world has been and will continue to be substantially complicated by continuing restrictions on travel and social distancing. We are taking various steps to mitigate these risks, but we cannot predict whether or to what extent the pandemic may adversely affect our ability to retain employees and successfully integrate the acquired businesses. If key employees depart, we may incur significant costs in identifying, hiring, and retaining replacements, which could substantially reduce or delay our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisitions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. We have incurred approximately $175.0 million of incremental secured term loan indebtedness, primarily to fund our $150.0 million acquisition of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business. As of December 31, 2020, our aggregate indebtedness was $369.8 million. Such indebtedness adversely affects our operating results and cash-flows as we satisfy our underlying interest and principal payment obligations and contains financial and operational covenants that could adversely affect our operational freedom or ability to pursue strategic transactions that we would otherwise consider to be in the best interests of stockholders, including obtaining additional indebtedness to finance such transactions. MaxLinear financed the $150.0 million acquisition of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business in part with an incremental secured term loan facility in an aggregate principal amount of approximately $175.0 million, of which $157.8 million was outstanding as of December 31, 2020. The incremental term loan has a three-year term expiring in July 2023 and bears interest, at our option, at either an Adjusted LIBOR plus a fixed applicable margin of 4.25% per annum or an Adjusted Base Rate plus a fixed applicable margin of 3.25% per annum. The incremental term loan of $175.0 million amortizes in quarterly installments of principal equal to (i) 1.25% of the original aggregate principal amount of the incremental term loan on the last day of each of the first through fourth full fiscal quarters of the Company after July 31, 2020, (ii) 2.50% of the original aggregate principal amount of the Incremental Term Loan on the last day of each of the fifth through eighth full fiscal quarters of the Company after July 31, 2020, and (iii) 3.75% of the original aggregate principal amount of the incremental term loan on the last day of each of the ninth through the eleventh full fiscal quarters of the Company after July 31, 2020. The incremental term loan facility is secured by a first priority security interest in MaxLinear’s assets, subject to certain customary exceptions, as well as pledges of our equity interests in certain subsidiaries. We had previously only carried long term debt on our balance sheet from one acquisition. We have prepaid a substantial portion of the total principal of debt from the prior acquisition and have financed the remainder of our operations principally through working capital generated from operations as well as sales and issuances of our equity securities. MaxLinear previously financed the acquisition of Exar in part with a secured initial term loan facility in an aggregate principal amount of approximately $425.0 million, of which $212.0 million remained outstanding as of December 31, 2020. The outstanding 18


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    Table of Contents principal on the initial term loan is due at maturity on May 12, 2024. Our outstanding initial term loan debt is subject to a Adjusted LIBOR plus a 2.5% fixed applicable margin during the remainder of the term of the loan. The existing term loan facility is secured by a first priority security interest in MaxLinear’s assets, subject to certain customary exceptions, as well as pledges of our equity interests in certain subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2020, our aggregate indebtedness under the initial and incremental term loan facilities was $369.8 million. Our material incremental indebtedness adversely affects our operating expenses through increased interest payment obligations and adversely affects our ability to use cash generated from operations as we repay interest and principal under the term loans. In addition, the incremental term loan provisions include financial covenants such as an initial maximum total net leverage ratio of 3.5 to 1 which decreases to 3.0 to 1 beginning with the sixth full fiscal quarter after July 31, 2020, a requirement to maintain certain public corporate debt ratings, and operational covenants that may adversely affect our ability to engage in certain activities, including certain financing and acquisition transactions, stock repurchases, guarantees, and similar transactions, without obtaining the consent of the lenders, which may or may not be forthcoming. The initial secured term loan is only subject to operational covenants. Lastly, our borrowing costs can be affected by periodic credit ratings from independent rating agencies. Such ratings are largely based on our performance, which may be measured by credit metrics such as leverage and interest coverage ratios. Accordingly, outstanding indebtedness could adversely affect our operational freedom or ability to pursue strategic transactions that we would otherwise consider to be in the best interests of stockholders, including obtaining additional indebtedness to finance such transactions. Specifically, our combined indebtedness has important consequences to investors in our common stock, including the following: • we are subject to substantial variable interest rate risk because our interest rate under the incremental term loan varies based on a fixed margin of 4.25% per annum over an adjusted LIBOR rate or 3.25% per annum over an adjusted base rate and our interest rate under the initial term loan varies based on a fixed margin of 2.5% over an adjusted LIBOR rate. If interest rates were to increase substantially, it would adversely affect our operating results and could affect our ability to service the term loan indebtedness; • a portion of our cash flows is dedicated to the payment of interest and when applicable, principal, on our indebtedness and other obligations and will not be available for use in our business; • our level of indebtedness could limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the markets in which we operate; and • our high degree of indebtedness may make us more vulnerable to changes in general economic conditions and/or a downturn in our business, thereby making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations. If we fail to make required debt payments, or if we fail to comply with financial or other covenants in our debt service agreements, which include a maximum leverage ratio, we would be in default under the terms of these agreements. Subject to customary cure rights, any default would permit the holders of the indebtedness to accelerate repayment of this debt and could cause defaults under other indebtedness that we have, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock. We expect to incur substantial expenses related to the integration of MaxLinear and the acquired businesses. We expect to incur substantial expenses in connection with completion of the integration of the operations of MaxLinear and the acquired businesses. We expect operational integration to require substantial management attention. Numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, could affect the total cost or the timing of expected integration expenses. Moreover, many of the expenses that will be incurred are by their nature difficult to estimate accurately at the present time. These expenses could, particularly in the near term, reduce the savings that we expect to achieve from the elimination of duplicative expenses and the realization of economies of scale and cost savings related to the integration of the businesses. These integration expenses may result in MaxLinear’s taking significant charges against earnings. We have recorded additional goodwill and other intangible assets in connection with the acquired businesses. Goodwill and other acquired intangible assets could become impaired and adversely affect our future operating results. The acquisitions of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business and NanoSemi are accounted for as business combinations under the acquisition method of accounting by MaxLinear in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Under the acquisition method of accounting, the assets and liabilities of acquired businesses are recorded, as of 19


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    Table of Contents completion, at their respective fair values and added to our assets and liabilities. Our reported financial condition and results of operations reflect the balances and results of the acquired businesses but are not restated retroactively to reflect the historical financial position or results of operations of acquired businesses for periods prior to the acquisitions. As a result, comparisons of future results against prior period results will be more difficult for investors. Under the acquisition method of accounting, the total purchase price is allocated to net tangible assets and identifiable intangible assets of acquired businesses based on their fair values as of the date of completion of the acquisition. The excess of the purchase price over those fair values is recorded as goodwill. Our acquisitions have resulted in the creation of goodwill and recording of a large amount of intangible assets based upon the application of the acquisition method of accounting. To the extent the value of goodwill or other intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to incur material charges relating to such impairment. We conduct our annual goodwill and indefinite- lived intangible asset impairment analysis on October 31 each year, or more frequently if we believe indicators of impairment exist. In addition, there can be no guarantee that acquired intangible assets, particularly in-process research and development, will generate revenues or profits that we include in our forecast that is the basis for their fair values as of the acquisition date. Any such impairment charges relating to goodwill or other intangible assets could have a material impact on our operating results in future periods, and the announcement of a material impairment could have an adverse effect on the trading price and trading volume of our common stock. As of December 31, 2020, our balance sheet reflected goodwill of $302.8 million and other intangible assets of $207.3 million. Consequently, we could recognize material impairment charges in the future. In addition to our acquisitions of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business and NanoSemi, we may, from time to time, make additional business acquisitions or investments, which involve significant risks. We have completed multiple acquisitions in the past four years. We may also enter into alliances or make investments in other businesses to complement our existing product offerings, augment our market coverage or enhance our technological capabilities. Any such transactions could result in: • issuances of equity securities dilutive to our existing stockholders; • substantial cash payments; • the incurrence of substantial debt and assumption of unknown liabilities; • large one-time write-offs; • amortization expenses related to intangible assets; • a limitation on our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards; • the diversion of management's time and attention from operating our business to acquisition integration challenges; • stockholder or other litigation relating to the transaction; • adverse tax consequences; and • the potential loss of key employees, customers and suppliers of the acquired businesses. Integrating acquired organizations and their products and services, including the integration of completed acquisitions, may be expensive, time-consuming and a strain on our resources and our relationships with employees, customers, distributors and suppliers, and ultimately may not be successful. The benefits or synergies we may expect from the acquisition of complementary or supplementary businesses may not be realized to the extent or in the time frame we initially anticipate. Some of the risks that may affect our ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses include those associated with: • failure to successfully further develop the acquired products or technology; • conforming the acquired company’s standards, policies, processes, procedures and controls with our operations; • coordinating new product and process development, especially with respect to highly complex technologies; • loss of key employees or customers of the acquired business; • hiring additional management and other critical personnel; 20


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    Table of Contents • in the case of foreign acquisitions, the need to integrate operations across different cultures and languages and to address the particular economic, currency, political and regulatory risks associated with specific countries; • increasing the scope, geographic diversity and complexity of our operations; • consolidation of facilities, integration of the acquired businesses' accounting, human resource and other administrative functions and coordination of product, engineering and sales and marketing functions; • the geographic distance between the businesses; • liability for activities of the acquired businesses before the acquisition, including patent and trademark infringement claims, violations of laws, commercial disputes, tax liabilities and other known and unknown liabilities; and • litigation or other claims in connection with the acquired businesses, including claims for terminated employees, customers, former stockholders or other third parties. We have in the past been and may in the future be party to ligation related to acquisitions. Any adverse determination in litigation resulting from acquisitions could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results. Risks Related to Our Business Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. In late January 2020 and early February 2020, in response to a severe outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, the government of China instituted mandatory quarantines in Wuhan, China, extended lunar new year holiday closures, and restricted shipments out of the country. This resulted in a temporary delay in our product shipments in the first quarter of 2020. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic regarding COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has reached all of the countries and states in which we operate, including in California where our headquarters and central engineering team are located, as well as Spain, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, and Austria, where additional engineering, sales, and administrative personnel are located. In many of these jurisdictions, local authorities have instituted stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. To protect the health and safety of our employees, we adopted social distancing policies including suspending employee travel and implementing remote work arrangements for substantially all of our workforce worldwide. As of December 31, 2020, some of our workforce have returned to the office at reduced capacity adhering to local health authority guidelines. While we experienced some negative impact to our net revenue and gross profits in the first half of 2020 due to several industry-wide dynamics related to COVID-19, including supply constraints described above, as well as certain customer push-out requests, we are currently benefiting from the work-from-home environment that is driving an increase in demand for certain of our products. Further, global financial markets reacted negatively to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts causing significant declines in the stock price and market capitalization of many companies across all industries, although some have recovered. Heightened volatility and uncertainty in customer demand and the worldwide economy in general has continued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we may experience increased volatility in sales and revenues in the near future. However, the magnitude of such volatility on our business and its duration is uncertain and cannot be reasonably estimated at this time. Other areas of our business which could be disrupted or subject to negative impacts may include, but may not be limited to, the following: • Decreased demand in geographic locations more severely impacted by the outbreak, particularly in the U.S. and Europe; • Further supply constraints, including delays in production from temporary facility closures, supply shortages, and foundry, assembly or test capacity limitations; • Disruptions in product shipments from travel and shipping restrictions imposed in response to local outbreaks; • Slow down in the pace of integration of our acquisitions resulting from remote work arrangements and/or governmental closures beyond our control; • Reduced ability to accurately predict our future revenue and budget future expenses; • Inefficiencies, delays and additional costs in design win, product development, production and fulfillment which may be exacerbated by remote work arrangements; 21


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    Table of Contents • Accounts receivable collection issues should any of our limited and significant customers experience liquidity concerns; • Material impacts to the value of our common stock, which may result in impairment of our goodwill; • Material impairment of our assets, if recoverability thereof becomes a concern; • Decreased availability of capital or access thereto in the United States and from other jurisdictions in which we operate; and • Increased data security risks from remote working arrangements of our employees and those of our customers and vendors. Although we currently expect that our present cash and cash equivalent balances and cash flows that are generated from operations will be sufficient to meet our operating requirements for at least the next twelve months, a material adverse impact from COVID-19 could result in a need to raise additional capital or incur additional indebtedness to fund strategic initiatives or operating activities, particularly if we pursue additional acquisitions. Additional funds may not be available on terms favorable to us or at all. If we are unable to raise additional funds when needed, we may not be able to sustain our operations or execute our strategic plans. We face intense competition and expect competition to increase in the future, which could have an adverse effect on our revenue, revenue growth rate, if any, and market share. The global semiconductor market in general, and the connected home, wired and wireless infrastructure, and broader industrial and communications analog and mixed- signal markets in particular, are highly competitive. We compete in different target markets to various degrees on the basis of a number of principal competitive factors, including our products’ performance, features and functionality, energy efficiency, size, ease of system design, customer support, product roadmap, reputation, reliability and price. We expect competition to increase and intensify as a result of industry consolidation and the resulting creation of larger semiconductor companies. Large semiconductor companies resulting from industry consolidation could enjoy substantial market power, which they could exert through, among other things, aggressive pricing that could adversely affect our customer relationships and revenues. In addition, we expect the internal resources of large, integrated original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, may continue to enter our markets. Increased competition could result in price pressure, reduced profitability and loss of market share, any of which could materially and adversely affect our business, revenue, revenue growth rates, if any, and operating results. As our products are integrated into a variety of communications and industrial platforms, our competitors range from large, international merchant semiconductor companies offering a wide range of semiconductor products to smaller companies specializing in narrow markets, to internal or vertically integrated engineering groups within certain of our customers. Our primary merchant semiconductor competitors include Silicon Laboratories, Inc., NXP Semiconductors N.V., MediaTek, Inc., Broadcom Ltd, Rafael Microelectronics, Inc., Inphi Corporation, M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc., Semtech Corporation, Qorvo Inc., Texas Instruments Incorporated, HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd., Analog Devices, Inc., Renesas Electronics Corporation, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (which recently entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Analog Devices), Monolithic Power Systems, Inc., Microchip Technology, Inc., Ambarella, Inc., and Infineon Technologies AG. It is quite likely that competition in the markets in which we participate will increase in the future as existing competitors improve or expand their product offerings. In addition, it is quite likely that a number of other public and private companies are in the process of developing competing products for our current and target markets. Because our products often are building block semiconductors which provide functions that in some cases can be integrated into more complex integrated circuits, we also face competition from manufacturers of integrated circuits, some of which may be existing customers or platform partners that develop their own integrated circuit products. If we cannot offer an attractive solution for applications where our competitors offer more fully integrated products, we may lose significant market share to our competitors. Some of our targeted customers for our optical interconnect solutions are module makers who are vertically integrated, where we compete with internally supplied components, and we compete with much larger analog and mixed-signal catalog competitors in the multi-market high-performance analog markets. Our ability to compete successfully depends on factors both within and outside of our control, including industry and general economic trends. During past periods of downturns in our industry, competition in the markets in which we operate intensified as manufacturers of semiconductors reduced prices in order to combat production overcapacity and high inventory levels. Many of our competitors have substantially greater financial and other resources with which to withstand similar adverse economic or market conditions in the future. Moreover, the competitive landscape is changing as a result of intense 22


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    Table of Contents consolidation within our industry as some of our competitors have merged with or been acquired by other competitors, and other competitors have begun to collaborate with each other. In addition, changes in government trade policies, including the imposition of tariffs and export restrictions, could limit our ability to sell our products to certain customers and adversely affect our ability to compete successfully. These developments may materially and adversely affect our current and future target markets and our ability to compete successfully in those markets. We depend on a limited number of customers, that have undergone or are undergoing consolidation and who themselves are dependent on a consolidating set of service provider customers, for a substantial portion of our revenue, and the loss of, or a significant reduction in orders from one or more of our major customers could have a material adverse effect on our revenue and operating results. For fiscal 2020, our top two customers, which were both direct customers, accounted for 28% of our net revenue, and our ten largest customers collectively accounted for 68% of our net revenue, of which distributor customers accounted for 41% of our net revenue. We expect that our operating results for the foreseeable future will continue to show a substantial percentage of sales dependent on a relatively small number of customers. In the future, these customers may decide not to purchase our products at all, may purchase fewer products than they did in the past, or may defer or cancel purchases or otherwise alter their purchasing patterns. Factors that could affect our revenue from these large customers include the following: • 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 have sought or are seeking relationships with current or potential competitors which may affect their purchasing decisions; • service provider and OEM consolidation across cable, satellite, and fiber markets could result in significant changes to our customers’ technology development and deployment priorities and roadmaps, which could affect our ability to forecast demand accurately and could lead to increased volatility in our business; and • technological changes in our markets could lead to substantial volatility in our revenues based on product transitions, and particularly in our broadband markets, we face risks based on changes in the way consumers are accessing and using broadband and cable services, which could affect operator demand for our products. In addition, delays in development could impair our relationships with our strategic customers and negatively impact sales of the products under development. Moreover, it is possible that our customers may develop their own products or adopt a competitor’s solution for products that they currently buy from us. If that happens, our sales would decline and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. Our relationships with some customers may deter other potential customers who compete with these customers from buying our products. To attract new customers or retain existing customers, we may offer these customers favorable prices on our products. In that event, our average selling prices and gross margins would decline. The loss of a key customer, a reduction in sales to any key customer or our inability to attract new significant customers could seriously impact our revenue and materially and adversely affect our results of operations. A significant portion of our revenues are from sales of product to distributors, who then resell our product. Our agreements with certain of these distributors provide protection against price reduction on their inventories of our products. The loss of certain distributors could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations, and price reductions associated with their inventories of our products could have a substantial adverse effect on our operating results in the event of a dramatic decline in selling prices for these products. In addition, the current situation relating to trade with China and governmental and regulatory concerns relating to specific Chinese companies remain fluid and unpredictable. Our current and future operating results could be materially and adversely affected by limitations on our ability to sell to one or more Chinese customers and by tariffs and other trade barriers that may be implemented by governmental authorities. A significant, but declining portion of our revenue is attributable to demand for our products in markets for broadband (previously connected home) solutions, and development delays and consolidation trends among cable and satellite Pay-TV and broadband operators could adversely affect our future revenues and operating results. 23


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    Table of Contents For fiscal 2020 and 2019, revenue directly attributable to broadband (previously connected home) applications accounted for approximately 51% and 38% of our net revenue, respectively. Delays in the development of, or unexpected developments in the broadband markets could have an adverse effect on order activity by original equipment manufacturers in these markets and, as a result, on our business, revenue, operating results and financial condition. In addition, consolidation trends among Pay-TV and broadband operators may continue, which could have a material adverse effect on our future operating results and financial condition. If we fail to penetrate new applications and markets, our revenue, revenue growth rate, if any, and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. We sell a significant portion of our products to manufacturers of cable broadband voice and data modems and gateways, Pay-TV set-top boxes and gateways into cable and satellite operator markets, satellite outdoor units or LNB’s, optical modules for long-haul and metro telecommunications markets, and RF transceivers and modem solutions for wireless infrastructure markets. Our product offerings also include broadband data access, power management and interface technologies which are ubiquitous functions in new and existing markets such as wireless and wireline communications infrastructure, broadband access, industrial, enterprise network, and automotive applications. We have further expanded our product offerings to include Wi-Fi, ethernet and broadband gateway processor systems-on-chip, or SoCs, and intellectual property that utilizes patented machine learning techniques to improve signal integrity and power efficiency in SoCs, application-specific integrated circuits, or ASICs, and field- programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs, used in next-generation communication and artificial intelligence systems. Our future revenue growth, if any, will depend in part on our ability to further penetrate into, and expand beyond, these markets with analog, digital and mixed-signal solutions targeting the markets for Wi-Fi and broadband, high-speed optical interconnects for data center, metro, and long-haul optical modules, telecommunications wireless infrastructure, and cable DOCSIS 3.1 network infrastructure products. Each of these markets presents distinct and substantial risks. If any of these markets do not develop as we currently anticipate, or if we are unable to penetrate them successfully, it could materially and adversely affect our revenue and revenue growth rate, if any. Broadband data modems and gateways and Pay-TV and satellite set-top boxes and video gateways continue to represent a significant North American and European revenue generator. The North American and European Pay-TV market is dominated by only a few OEMs, including Technicolor, Commscope Holding Company, Inc., Hitron Technologies, Inc., Compal Broadband Networks, Humax Co., Ltd., and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. These OEMs are large multinational corporations with substantial negotiating power relative to us and are undergoing significant consolidation. Securing design wins with any of these companies requires a substantial investment of our time and resources. Even if we succeed, additional testing and operational certifications will be required by the OEMs’ customers, which include large Pay-TV television companies such as Comcast Corporation, Liberty Global plc, Spectrum, Sky, AT&T and EchoStar Corporation. In addition, our products will need to be compatible with other components in our customers’ designs, including components produced by our competitors or potential competitors. There can be no assurance that these other companies will support or continue to support our products. If we fail to penetrate these or other new markets upon which we target our resources, our revenue and revenue growth rate, if any, likely will decrease over time and our financial condition could suffer. We may be unable to make the substantial and productive research and development investments that are required to remain competitive in our business. The semiconductor industry requires substantial investment in research and development in order to develop and bring to market new and enhanced technologies and products. Many of our products originated with our research and development efforts, which we believe have provided us with a significant competitive advantage. For fiscal years 2020, 2019, and 2018, our research and development expense was $180.0 million, $98.3 million, and $120.0 million respectively. We monitor such expenditures as part of our strategy of devoting focused research and development efforts on the development of innovative and sustainable product platforms. We are committed to investing in new product development internally in order to stay competitive in our markets and plan to maintain research and development and design capabilities for new solutions in advanced semiconductor process nodes such as 28nm and 16nm and beyond. However, we do not know whether we will have sufficient resources to maintain the level of investment in research and development required to remain competitive as semiconductor process nodes continue to shrink and become increasingly complex. In addition, we cannot assure you that the technologies that are the focus of our research and development expenditures will become commercially successful. We are currently benefiting from an uptick in demand for certain products due to the work-from-home environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant variance in our operating results or rates of growth, if any, could lead to 24


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    Table of Contents substantial volatility in our stock price. We may not sustain our current growth rate, and we may not be able to manage future growth effectively. Our net revenue increased in 2020 to $478.6 million from $317.2 million in 2019 due to market strength attributed to the work-from-home environment that is driving an increase in demand for certain of our products, particularly those from our acquisition of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business. The COVID-19 pandemic could result in increased volatility in our sales and revenues. You should not rely on our operating results for any prior quarterly or annual periods as an indication of our future operating performance. Please refer to the Risk Factor entitled “Our operating results are subject to substantial quarterly and annual fluctuations and may fluctuate significantly due to a number of factors that could adversely affect our business and our stock price” for a discussion of factors contributing to variances in our operating results or rates of growth. If we are unable to sustain adequate revenue growth, our financial results could suffer and our stock price could decline. To sustain and manage any future growth successfully, we believe we must effectively, among other things: • successfully develop new products and penetrate new applications and markets; • recruit, hire, train and manage additional qualified engineers for our research and development activities, especially in the positions of design engineering, product and test engineering and applications engineering; • add sales personnel and expand customer engineering support offices; • implement and improve our administrative, financial and operational systems, procedures and controls; and • enhance our information technology support for enterprise resource planning and design engineering by adapting and expanding our systems and tool capabilities, and properly training new hires as to their use. If we are unable to sustain and manage our growth effectively, we may not be able to take advantage of market opportunities or develop new products and we may fail to satisfy customer requirements, maintain product quality, execute our business plan, or respond to competitive pressures. The complexity of our products could result in unforeseen delays or expenses caused by undetected defects or bugs, which could reduce the market acceptance of our new products, damage our reputation with current or prospective customers and adversely affect our operating costs. Highly complex products like our Wi-Fi and broadband RF receivers and RF receiver SoCs, physical medium devices for optical modules, RF transceiver and modem solutions for wireless infrastructure markets, and high-performance analog solutions may contain defects and bugs when they are first introduced or as new versions are released. Where any of our products, including legacy acquired products, contain defects or bugs, or have reliability, quality or compatibility problems, we may not be able to successfully correct these problems. Consequently, our reputation may be damaged and customers may be reluctant to buy our products, which could materially and adversely affect our ability to retain existing customers and attract new customers, and our financial results. In addition, these defects or bugs could interrupt or delay sales to our customers. If any of these problems are not found until after we have commenced commercial production of a new product, we may be required to incur additional development costs and product recall, repair or replacement costs, and our operating costs could be adversely affected. These problems may also result in warranty or product liability claims against us by our customers or others that may require us to make significant expenditures to defend these claims or pay damage awards. In the event of a warranty claim, we may also incur costs if we compensate the affected customer. We maintain product liability insurance, but this insurance is limited in amount and subject to significant deductibles. There is no guarantee that our insurance will be available or adequate to protect against all claims. We also may incur costs and expenses relating to a recall of one of our customers’ products containing one of our devices. The process of identifying a recalled product in devices that have been widely distributed may be lengthy and require significant resources, and we may incur significant replacement costs, contract damage claims from our customers and reputational harm. Costs or payments made in connection with warranty and product liability claims and product recalls could materially affect our financial condition and results of operations. Average selling prices of our products could decrease rapidly, which would have a material adverse effect on our revenue and gross margins. We may experience substantial period-to-period fluctuations in future operating results due to the erosion of our average selling prices. From time to time, we have reduced the average unit price of our products due to competitive pricing pressures, new product introductions by us or our competitors, and for other reasons, and we expect that we will have to do so again in the 25


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    Table of Contents future. In particular, we believe that industry consolidation has provided a number of larger semiconductor companies with substantial market power, which has had an adverse impact on selling prices in some of our markets. If we are unable to offset any reductions in our average selling prices by increasing our sales volumes or introducing new products with higher margins, our revenue and gross margins will suffer. To support our gross margins, we must develop and introduce new products and product enhancements on a timely basis and continually reduce our and our customers’ costs. Our inability to do so would cause our revenue and gross margins to decline. In addition, under certain of our agreements with key distributors, we provide protection for reductions in selling prices of the distributors’ inventory, which could have a significant adverse effect on our operating results if the selling prices for those products fell dramatically. If we fail to develop and introduce new or enhanced products on a timely basis, our ability to attract and retain customers could be impaired and our competitive position could be harmed. We operate in a dynamic environment characterized by rapidly changing technologies and industry standards and technological obsolescence. To compete successfully, we must design, develop, market and sell new or enhanced products that provide increasingly higher levels of performance and reliability and meet the cost expectations of our customers. The introduction of new products by our competitors, the market acceptance of products based on new or alternative technologies, or the emergence of new industry standards could render our existing or future products obsolete. Our failure to anticipate or timely develop new or enhanced products or technologies in response to technological shifts could result in decreased revenue and our competitors winning more competitive bid processes, known as “design wins.” In particular, we may experience difficulties with product design, manufacturing, marketing or certification that could delay or prevent our development, introduction or marketing of new or enhanced products. If we fail to introduce new or enhanced products that meet the needs of our customers or penetrate new markets in a timely fashion, we will lose market share and our operating results will be adversely affected. In particular, we believe that we will need to develop new products in part to respond to changing dynamics and trends in our end user markets, including (among other trends) consolidation among cable and satellite operators, potential industry shifts away from the hardware devices and other technologies that incorporate certain of our products, and changes in consumer television viewing habits and how consumers access and receive broadcast content and digital broadband services. We cannot predict how these trends will continue to develop or how or to what extent they may affect our future revenues and operating results. We believe that we will need to continue to make substantial investments in research and development in an attempt to ensure a product roadmap that anticipates these types of changes; however, we cannot provide any assurances that we will accurately predict the direction in which our markets will evolve or that we will be able to develop, market, or sell new products that respond to such changes successfully or in a timely manner, if at all. We are subject to order and shipment uncertainties, and differences between our estimates of customer demand and product mix and our actual results could negatively affect our inventory levels, sales and operating results. Our revenue is generated on the basis of shipments of products under purchase orders with our customers rather than long-term purchase commitments. In addition, our customers can cancel purchase orders or defer the shipments of our products under certain circumstances. Our products are manufactured using a silicon foundry according to our estimates of customer demand, which requires us to make separate demand forecast assumptions for every customer, each of which may introduce significant variability into our aggregate estimate. We have limited visibility into future customer demand and the product mix that our customers will require, which could adversely affect our revenue forecasts and operating margins. Moreover, because our target markets are relatively new, many of our customers have difficulty accurately forecasting their product requirements and estimating the timing of their new product introductions, which ultimately affects their demand for our products. Historically, because of this limited visibility, actual results have been different from our forecasts of customer demand. Some of these differences have been material, leading to excess inventory or product shortages and revenue and margin forecasts above those we were actually able to achieve. These differences may occur in the future, and the adverse impact of these differences between forecasts and actual results could grow if we are successful in selling in and expanding the customer base for our products. In addition, the rapid pace of innovation in our industry could render significant portions of our inventory obsolete. Excess or obsolete inventory levels could result in unexpected expenses or increases in our reserves that could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition. Conversely, if we were to underestimate customer demand or if sufficient manufacturing capacity were unavailable, we could forego revenue opportunities, potentially lose market share and damage our customer relationships. In addition, any significant future cancellations or deferrals of product orders or the return of previously sold products due to manufacturing defects could materially and adversely impact our profit margins, increase our write-offs due to product obsolescence and restrict our ability to fund our operations. 26


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    Table of Contents We may have difficulty accurately predicting our future revenue and appropriately budgeting our expenses particularly as we seek to enter new markets where we may not have prior experience. Our operating history had previously focused on developing integrated circuits for specific terrestrial, cable and satellite television, and broadband voice and data applications, satellite set-top and gateway boxes and outdoor units and physical medium devices for the optical interconnect markets, and as part of our strategy, we seek to expand our addressable market into new product categories. For example, we expanded into the markets for the wired whole-home broadband connectivity market and entered the markets for wireless telecommunications infrastructure and power management and interface technologies which are ubiquitous functions in wireless and wireline communications infrastructure, broadband access, industrial, enterprise network, and automotive applications. We have also expanded into the markets for Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Broadband Gateway Processor SoCs and intellectual property that utilizes patented machine learning techniques to improve signal integrity and power efficiency in systems-on- chip, or SoCs, application-specific integrated circuits, or ASICs, and field-programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs, used in next-generation communication and artificial intelligence systems. Our limited operating experience in these new markets or potential markets we may enter, combined with the rapidly evolving nature of our markets in general, substantial uncertainty concerning how these markets may develop and other factors beyond our control reduces our ability to accurately forecast quarterly or annual revenue. If our revenue does not increase as anticipated, we could incur significant losses due to our higher expense levels if we are not able to decrease our expenses in a timely manner to offset any shortfall in future revenue. If we are unable to attract, train and retain qualified personnel, especially our design and technical personnel, we may not be able to execute our business strategy effectively. Our future success depends on our ability to retain, attract and motivate qualified personnel, including our management, sales and marketing and finance, and especially our design and technical personnel. We do not know whether we will be able to attract and retain all of these personnel as we continue to pursue our business strategy. Historically, we have encountered difficulties in hiring and retaining qualified engineers because there is a limited pool of engineers with the expertise required in our field. Competition for these personnel is intense in the semiconductor industry. As the source of our technological and product innovations, our design and technical personnel represent a significant asset. The loss of the services of one or more of our key employees, especially our key design and technical personnel, or our inability to retain, attract and motivate qualified design and technical personnel, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our business would be adversely affected by the departure of existing members of our senior management team. Our success depends, in large part, on the continued contributions of our senior management team. None of our senior management team is bound by written employment contracts to remain with us for a specified period. In addition, we have not entered into non-compete agreements with members of our senior management team. We are fortunate that many members of our executive management team have long tenures with us, but from time to time we also have been required to recruit new executive officers. With respect to executive officer recruitment and retention, we need to ensure that our executive compensation programs provide sufficient recruitment and retention incentives as well as incentives to achieve our long-term strategic business and financial objectives. We expect competition for individuals with our required skill sets, particularly technical and engineering skills, to remain intense even in weak global macroeconomic environments. The loss of any member of our senior management team could harm our ability to implement our business strategy and respond to the rapidly changing market conditions in which we operate. Our customers require our products and our third-party contractors to undergo a lengthy and expensive qualification process which does not assure product sales. Prior to purchasing our products, our customers require that both our products and our third-party contractors undergo extensive qualification processes, which involve testing of the products in the customer’s system and rigorous reliability testing. This qualification process may continue for six months or more. However, qualification of a product by a customer does not assure any sales of the product to that customer. Even after successful qualification and sales of a product to a customer, a subsequent revision to our solutions, or changes in our customer’s manufacturing process or our selection of a new supplier 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 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, to qualifying our products with customers in anticipation of sales. If we 27


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    Table of Contents are unsuccessful or delayed in qualifying any of our products with a customer, sales of this product to the customer may be precluded or delayed, which may result in a decrease in our revenue and cause our business to suffer. Winning business is subject to lengthy competitive selection processes that require us to incur significant expenditures. Even if we begin a product design, customers may decide to cancel or change their product plans, which could cause us to generate no revenue from a product and adversely affect our results of operations. We are focused on securing design wins to develop RF receivers and RF receiver SoCs, MoCA and G.hn SoCs, DBS-ODU SoCs, physical medium devices for optical modules, interface and power management devices, and SoC solutions targeting infrastructure opportunities within the telecommunications, wireless, industrial and multimarket and Wi-Fi and broadband operator markets for use in our customers’ products. These selection processes typically are lengthy and can require us to incur significant design and development expenditures and dedicate scarce engineering resources in pursuit of a single customer opportunity. We may not win the competitive selection process and may never generate any revenue despite incurring significant design and development expenditures. These risks are exacerbated by the fact that some of our customers’ products likely will have short life cycles. Failure to obtain a design win could prevent us from offering an entire generation of a product, even though this has not occurred to date. This could cause us to lose revenue and require us to write off obsolete inventory, and could weaken our position in future competitive selection processes. After securing a design win, we may experience delays in generating revenue from our products as a result of the lengthy development cycle typically required. Our customers generally take a considerable amount of time to evaluate our products. The typical time from early engagement by our sales force to actual product introduction runs from nine to twelve months for the consumer market, to as much as 18 to 24 months for the satellite markets, and 36 months or longer for industrial, wired and wireless infrastructure markets. The delays inherent in these lengthy sales cycles increase the risk that a customer will decide to cancel, curtail, reduce or delay its product plans, causing us to lose anticipated sales. In addition, any delay or cancellation of a customer’s plans could materially and adversely affect our financial results, as we may have incurred significant expense and generated no revenue. Finally, our customers’ failure to successfully market and sell their products could reduce demand for our products and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. If we were unable to generate revenue after incurring substantial expenses to develop any of our products, our business would suffer. Our operating results are subject to substantial quarterly and annual fluctuations and may fluctuate significantly due to a number of factors that could adversely affect our business and our stock price. Our revenue and operating results have fluctuated in the past and are likely to fluctuate in the future. These fluctuations may occur on a quarterly and on an annual basis and are due to a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control. These factors include, among others: • changes in end-user demand for the products manufactured and sold by our customers; • the receipt, reduction or cancellation of significant orders by customers; • fluctuations in the levels of component inventories held by our customers; • the gain or loss of significant customers; • market acceptance of our products and our customers’ products; • our ability to develop, introduce, and market new products and technologies on a timely basis; • the timing and extent of product development costs; • new product announcements and introductions by us or our competitors; • incurrence of research and development and related new product expenditures; • seasonality or cyclical fluctuations in our markets; • government actions, by the United States, China or other countries, that impose barriers or restrictions that would impact our ability to sell or ship products to customers; • currency fluctuations; • fluctuations in IC manufacturing yields; 28


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    Table of Contents • significant warranty claims, including those not covered by our suppliers; • changes in our product mix or customer mix; • intellectual property disputes; • loss of key personnel or the shortage of available skilled workers; • impairment of long-lived assets, including masks and production equipment; • the effects of competitive pricing pressures, including decreases in average selling prices of our products; and • uncertainties arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market and our business operations. These factors are difficult to forecast, and these, as well as other factors, could materially adversely affect our quarterly or annual operating results. We typically are required to incur substantial development costs in advance of a prospective sale with no certainty that we will ever recover these costs. A substantial amount of time may pass between a design win and the generation of revenue related to the expenses previously incurred, which can potentially cause our operating results to fluctuate significantly from period to period. In addition, a significant amount of our operating expenses are relatively fixed in nature due to our significant sales, research and development costs. Any failure to adjust spending or our operations quickly enough to compensate for a revenue shortfall could magnify its adverse impact on our results of operations. We are subject to the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry. 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. Any future downturns may result in diminished product demand, production overcapacity, high inventory levels and accelerated erosion of average selling prices. Furthermore, any upturn in the semiconductor industry could result in increased competition for access to third-party foundry and assembly capacity. We are dependent on the availability of this capacity to manufacture and assemble all of our products. None of our third-party foundry or assembly contractors has provided assurances that adequate capacity will be available to us in the future. A significant downturn or upturn could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected by the political and economic conditions of the countries in which we conduct business and other factors related to our international operations. We sell our products throughout the world. Products shipped to Asia accounted for 82% of our net revenue in the year ended December 31, 2020. In addition, as of December 31, 2020, approximately 72% of our employees are located outside of the United States. The majority of our products are manufactured, assembled and tested in Asia, and all of our major distributors are located in Asia. Multiple factors relating to our international operations and to particular countries in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These factors include: • changes in political, regulatory, legal or economic conditions; • restrictive governmental actions, such as restrictions on the transfer or repatriation of funds and foreign investments and trade protection measures, including export duties and quotas and customs duties and tariffs; • disruptions of capital and trading markets; • changes in import or export licensing requirements; • transportation delays; • civil disturbances or political instability; • geopolitical turmoil, including terrorism, war or political or military coups; • public health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic; • differing employment practices and labor standards; 29


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    Table of Contents • limitations on our ability under local laws to protect our intellectual property; • local business and cultural factors that differ from our customary standards and practices; • nationalization and expropriation; • changes in tax laws; • currency fluctuations relating to our international operating activities; and • difficulty in obtaining distribution and support. In addition to a significant portion of our wafer supply coming from Taiwan, Singapore, and China, substantially all of our products undergo packaging and final testing in Taiwan, Singapore, China, South Korea, and Thailand. Any conflict or uncertainty in these countries, including due to natural disaster or public health or safety concerns, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if the government of any country in which our products are manufactured or sold sets technical standards for products manufactured in or imported into their country that are not widely shared, it may lead some of our customers to suspend imports of their products into that country, require manufacturers in that country to manufacture products with different technical standards and disrupt cross-border manufacturing relationships which, in each case, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We also are subject to risks associated with international political conflicts involving the U.S. and potentially other governments. In recent years, diplomatic and trade relationships between the U.S. government and China have been frayed. Recent events in Hong Kong have also prompted other governments such as that of the United Kingdom to reconsider its trade and business relationships with China and with certain Chinese companies. Difficulties in these relationships have in a number of cases required us to take actions adverse to our business to comply with governmental restrictions on business and trade with China. In May 2019 and subsequently, we ceased business operations that were prohibited with entities affiliated with Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., or Huawei and certain other entities, when the Bureau of Industry and Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce, or BIS, amended the Export Administration Regulations, or EAR, to add such entities to the Restricted Entity List for acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. In September 2020, we further ceased business operations that were prohibited with additional entities affiliated with Huawei when the BIS again amended the EAR to add such entities to the Restricted Entity List. Similarly, we ceased business operations with entities affiliated with ZTE Corp. when the BIS imposed an export licensing requirement, which was subsequently suspended through March 28, 2017. Such suspension was lifted as of March 29, 2017, however on April 17, 2018 the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed a seven-year export ban on ZTE, which was subsequently lifted as of July 13, 2018. Although we have not had significant sales to ZTE and certain other entities, we did have increasing sales to Huawei in the past year, and we believe the imposition of governmental prohibitions on selling our products to Huawei will adversely affect our revenues and operating results in the near term. We cannot provide assurances that similar disruptions of distribution arrangements in the future or the imposition of governmental prohibitions on selling our products to particular customers will not also adversely affect our revenues and operating results. Loss of a key distributor or customer under similar circumstances could have an adverse effect on our business, revenues and operating results. Our business is subject to various governmental regulations, and compliance with these regulations may cause us to incur significant expenses. If we fail to maintain compliance with applicable regulations, we may be forced to recall products and cease their manufacture and distribution, and we could be subject to civil or criminal penalties. Our business is subject to various international and U.S. laws and other legal requirements, including packaging, product content, labor, import/export control regulations, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other anticorruption laws. These regulations are complex, change frequently and have generally become more stringent over time. We may be required to incur significant costs to comply with these regulations or to remedy violations. Any failure by us to comply with applicable government regulations could result in cessation of our operations or portions of our operations, product recalls or impositions of fines and restrictions on our ability to conduct our operations. In addition, because many of our products are regulated or sold into regulated industries, we must comply with additional regulations in marketing our products. Our products and operations are also subject to the rules of industrial standards bodies, like the International Standards Organization, as well as regulation by other agencies, such as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. If we fail to adequately address any of these rules or regulations, our business could be harmed. For example, as indicated elsewhere in this report, we do a substantial portion of our business in Asia and particularly in China. In recent years, there has been a substantial focus by regulators in the United States and Europe on the business practices 30


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    Table of Contents of major Chinese technology companies such as Huawei and ZTE. ZTE is our current customer, but in May 2019 and subsequent months, and again in September 2020 with additional affiliated entities, we ceased prohibited business operations with Huawei and its affiliates and certain other restricted entities. While we intend to continue to conduct our businesses in compliance with all applicable laws, including laws relating to export controls and anti-corruption, it is possible that the nature of our business and customers could result in a review of our relationships and practices by regulatory authorities. We could incur increased administrative and legal costs in order to respond to any inquiries, and any failure to comply with applicable laws could adversely affect our business and operating results. We have implemented policies and procedures, including adoption of an anti-corruption policy and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable export control laws, but there can be no assurance that these policies and procedures will prove effective. We must conform the manufacture and distribution of our semiconductors to various laws and adapt to regulatory requirements in all countries as these requirements change. If we fail to comply with these requirements in the manufacture or distribution of our products, we could be required to pay civil penalties, face criminal prosecution and, in some cases, be prohibited from distributing our products in commerce until the products or component substances are brought into compliance. Our products must conform to industry standards in order to be accepted by end users in our markets. Generally, our products comprise only a part or parts of a communications device. All components of these 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 driving 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 communications 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. We may not be successful in developing or using new technologies or in developing new products or product enhancements that achieve market acceptance. Our pursuit of necessary technological advances may require substantial time and expense. Risks Relating to Intellectual Property We have settled in the past intellectual property litigation and may face additional claims of intellectual property infringement. Any future litigation could be time- consuming, costly to defend or settle and result in the loss of significant rights. The semiconductor industry is characterized by companies that hold large numbers of patents and other intellectual property rights and that vigorously pursue, protect and enforce intellectual property rights. Third parties have in the past and may in the future assert against us and our customers and distributors their patent and other intellectual property rights to technologies that are important to our business. In particular, from time to time, we receive correspondence from competitors seeking to engage us in discussions concerning potential claims against us, and we receive correspondence from customers seeking indemnification for potential claims related to infringement claims asserted against down-stream users of our products. We investigate these requests as received and could be required to enter license agreements with respect to third party intellectual property rights or indemnify third parties, either of which could have an adverse effect on our future operating results. Claims that our products, processes or technology infringe third-party intellectual property rights, regardless of their merit or resolution are costly to defend or settle and could divert the efforts and attention of our management and technical personnel. In addition, many of our customer and distributor agreements require us to indemnify and defend our customers or distributors from third-party infringement claims and pay damages in the case of adverse rulings. Claims of this sort also could harm our relationships with our customers or distributors and might deter future customers from doing business with us. In order to maintain our relationships with existing customers and secure business from new customers, we have been required from time to time to provide additional assurances beyond our standard terms. If any future proceedings result in an adverse outcome, we could be required to: • cease the manufacture, use or sale of the infringing products, processes or technology; 31


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    Table of Contents • pay substantial damages for infringement; • expend significant resources to develop non-infringing products, processes or technology; • license technology from the third-party claiming infringement, which license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all; • cross-license our technology to a competitor to resolve an infringement claim, which could weaken our ability to compete with that competitor; or • pay substantial damages to our customers or end users to discontinue their use of or to replace infringing technology sold to them with non-infringing technology. Any of the foregoing results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. We utilize a significant amount of intellectual property in our business. If we are unable to protect our intellectual property, our business could be adversely affected. Our success depends in part upon our ability to protect our intellectual property. To accomplish this, we rely on a combination of intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets in the United States and in selected foreign countries where we believe filing for such protection is appropriate. Effective patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret protection may be unavailable, limited or not applied for in some countries. Some of our products and technologies are not covered by any patent or patent application. We cannot guarantee that: • any of our present or future patents or patent claims will not lapse or be invalidated, circumvented, challenged or abandoned; • our intellectual property rights will provide competitive advantages to us; • our ability to assert our intellectual property rights against potential competitors or to settle current or future disputes will not be limited by our agreements with third parties; • any of our pending or future patent applications will be issued or have the coverage originally sought; • our intellectual property rights will be enforced in jurisdictions where competition may be intense or where legal protection may be weak; • any of the trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets or other intellectual property rights that we presently employ in our business will not lapse or be invalidated, circumvented, challenged or abandoned; or • we will not lose the ability to assert our intellectual property rights against or to license our technology to others and collect royalties or other payments. In addition, our competitors or others may design around our protected patents or technologies. Effective intellectual property protection may be unavailable or more limited in one or more relevant jurisdictions relative to those protections available in the United States, or may not be applied for in one or more relevant jurisdictions. If we pursue litigation to assert our intellectual property rights, an adverse decision in any of these legal actions could limit our ability to assert our intellectual property rights, limit the value of our technology or otherwise negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. Monitoring unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult and costly. Unauthorized use of our intellectual property may have occurred or may occur in the future. Although we have taken steps to minimize the risk of this occurring, any such failure to identify unauthorized use and otherwise adequately protect our intellectual property would adversely affect our business. Moreover, if we are required to commence litigation, whether as a plaintiff or defendant as has occurred in the past, not only will this be time-consuming, but we will also be forced to incur significant costs and divert our attention and efforts of our employees, which could, in turn, result in lower revenue and higher expenses. We also rely on customary contractual protections with our customers, suppliers, distributors, employees and consultants, and we implement security measures to protect our trade secrets. We cannot assure you that these contractual 32


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    Table of Contents protections and security measures will not be breached, that we will have adequate remedies for any such breach or that our suppliers, employees or consultants will not assert rights to intellectual property arising out of such contracts. In addition, we have a number of third-party patent and intellectual property license agreements. Some of these license agreements require us to make one-time payments or ongoing royalty payments. Also, a few of our license agreements contain most-favored nation clauses or other price restriction clauses which may affect the amount we may charge for our products, processes or technology. We cannot guarantee that the third-party patents and technology we license will not be licensed to our competitors or others in the semiconductor industry. In the future, we may need to obtain additional licenses, renew existing license agreements or otherwise replace existing technology. We are unable to predict whether these license agreements can be obtained or renewed or the technology can be replaced on acceptable terms, or at all. When we settled a trademark dispute with Linear Technology Corporation, we agreed not to register the “MAXLINEAR” mark or any other marks containing the term “LINEAR”. We may continue to use “MAXLINEAR” as a corporate identifier, including to advertise our products and services, but may not use that mark on our products. The agreement does not affect our ability to use our registered trademark “MxL”, which we use on our products. Due to our agreement not to register the “MAXLINEAR” mark, our ability to effectively prevent third parties from using the “MAXLINEAR” mark in connection with similar products or technology may be affected. If we are unable to protect our trademarks, we may experience difficulties in achieving and maintaining brand recognition and customer loyalty. We have been and may in the future be subject to information technology failures, including data protection breaches and cyber-attacks, that could disrupt our operations, damage our reputation and adversely affect our business, operations, and financial results. We rely on our information technology systems for the effective operation of our business and for the secure maintenance and storage of confidential data relating to our business and third-party businesses. In June 2020, we announced a security incident resulting from a Maze ransomware attack affecting certain but not all operational systems within our information technology infrastructure. Because we did not satisfy the attacker’s monetary demands, on June 15, 2020, the attacker released online certain proprietary information obtained from our network. Although our internal information technology team, supplemented by a leading cyber defense firm, has been actively taking steps to contain and assess this incident, including implementing enhanced security controls to protect our information technology systems, experienced programmers or hackers may further be able to penetrate our security controls, and develop and deploy viruses, worms and other malicious software programs that compromise our confidential information or that of third parties and cause another disruption or failure of our information technology systems. In addition, we have in the past and may in the future be subject to “phishing” attacks in which third parties send emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to obtain personal information and infiltrate our systems to initiate wire transfers or otherwise obtain proprietary or confidential information. A number of large, public companies have recently experienced losses based on phishing attacks and other cyber-attacks. The recent security incident and any future compromise of our information technology systems could result in the further unauthorized publication of our confidential business or proprietary information, result in the further unauthorized release of customer, supplier or employee data, result in violations of privacy or other laws, expose us to a risk of litigation, cause us to incur direct losses if attackers access our bank or investment accounts, or damage our reputation. The cost and operational consequences of implementing further data protection measures either as a response to specific breaches or as a result of evolving risks could be significant. In addition, our inability to use or access our information systems at critical points in time could adversely affect the timely and efficient operation of our business. Any delayed sales, significant costs or lost customers resulting from these technology failures could adversely affect our business, operations and financial results. Third parties with which we conduct business, such as foundries, assembly and test contractors, and distributors, 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 business, operations and financial results. The use of open source software in our products, processes and technology may expose us to additional risks and harm our intellectual property. Our products, processes and technology sometimes utilize and incorporate software that is subject to an open source license. Open source software is typically freely accessible, usable and modifiable. Certain open source software licenses require a user who intends to distribute the open source software as a component of the user’s software to disclose publicly part or all of the source code to the user’s software. In addition, certain open source software licenses require the user of such software to make any derivative works of the open source code available to others on unfavorable terms or at no cost. This can subject previously proprietary software to open source license terms. 33


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    Table of Contents While we monitor the use of all open source software in our products, processes and technology and try to ensure that no open source software is used in such a way as to require us to disclose the source code to the related product, processes or technology when we do not wish to do so, such use could inadvertently occur. Additionally, if a third party software provider has incorporated certain types of open source software into software we license from such third party for our products, processes or technology, we could, under certain circumstances, be required to disclose the source code to our products, processes or technology. This could harm our intellectual property position and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Risks Relating to Reliance on Third-Parties We rely on a limited number of third parties to manufacture, assemble, and test our products, and the failure to manage our relationships with our third-party contractors successfully, or impacts from natural disasters, public health crises, or other labor stoppages in the regions where such contractors operate, could adversely affect our ability to market and sell our products. We do not have our own manufacturing facilities. We operate an outsourced manufacturing business model that utilizes third-party foundry and assembly and test capabilities. As a result, we rely on third-party foundry wafer fabrication, including sole sourcing for many components or products. Currently, the majority of our products are manufactured by Global Foundries, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, or SMIC, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp, or TSMC, and United Microelectronics Corporation, or UMC, at foundries located in Taiwan, Singapore, and China. We also rely on Intel Corporation for certain products under a supply agreement as described in the risk factor “Failure to integrate the acquired businesses with our business and operations successfully in the expected time-frame or otherwise may adversely affect MaxLinear’s operating results and financial condition.” We also use third-party contractors for all of our assembly and test operations. Relying on third party manufacturing, assembly and testing presents significant risks to us, including the following: • failure by us, our customers, or their end customers to qualify a selected supplier; • capacity shortages during periods of high demand or from events beyond our control; • reduced control over delivery schedules and quality; • shortages of materials; • misappropriation of our intellectual property; • limited warranties on wafers or products supplied to us; and • potential increases in prices. The ability and willingness of our third-party contractors to perform is largely outside our control. If one or more of our contract manufacturers or other outsourcers fails to perform its obligations in a timely manner or at satisfactory quality levels, our ability to bring products to market and our reputation could suffer. For example, in the event that manufacturing capacity is reduced or eliminated at one or more facilities, manufacturing could be disrupted, we could have difficulties fulfilling our customer orders and our net revenue could decline. In addition, if these third parties fail to deliver quality products and components on time and at reasonable prices, we could have difficulties fulfilling our customer orders, our net revenue could decline and our business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected. Additionally, our product shipment and manufacturing capacity may be similarly reduced or eliminated at one or more facilities due to the fact that the majority of our fabrication and assembly and test contractors are all located in the Pacific Rim region, principally in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. The risk of earthquakes in these geographies is significant due to the proximity of major earthquake fault lines, and Taiwan in particular is also subject to typhoons and other Pacific storms. Earthquakes, fire, flooding, or other natural disasters in Taiwan or the Pacific Rim region, or political unrest, war, labor strikes, work stoppages or public health crises, such as the outbreak of COVID-19, in countries where our contractors’ facilities are located could result in the disruption of our product shipments, foundry, assembly, or test capacity. For example, as a result of the extension of the lunar new year holidays due to the outbreak of COVID-19, certain of our product shipments from China were temporarily delayed earlier in the first quarter of 2020. Although we continue to monitor the situation, it is currently 34


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    Table of Contents unknown whether any resurgence of the outbreak will occur and disrupt our product shipments or impact manufacturing in the region over future periods. If such disruption were to recur over a prolonged period, it could have a material impact on our revenues and our business. Any disruption resulting from similar events on a larger scale or over a prolonged period could cause significant delays in shipments of our products until we are able to resume such shipments, or shift our manufacturing, assembly, or test from the affected contractor to another third-party vendor, if needed. There can be no assurance that alternative capacity could be obtained on favorable terms, if at all. We are subject to risks associated with our distributors’ product inventories and product sell-through. Should any of our distributors cease or be forced to stop distributing our products, our business would suffer. We currently sell a large portion of our products to customers through our distributors, who maintain their own inventories of our products. Sales to distributors accounted for approximately 49%, 52%, and 42% of our net revenue in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. Upon shipment of product to these distributors, title to the inventory transfers to the distributor and the distributor is invoiced, generally with 30 to 60 day terms. Distributor sales are also recognized upon shipment to the distributor and estimates of future pricing credits and/or stock rotation rights reduce revenue recognized to the net amount before the actual amounts are known. If our estimates of such credits and rights are materially understated it could cause subsequent adjustments that negatively impact our revenues and gross profits in a future period. If our distributors are unable to sell an adequate amount of their inventories of our products in a given quarter to manufacturers and end users or if they decide to decrease their inventories of our products for any reason, our sales through these distributors and our revenue may decline. In addition, if some distributors decide to purchase more of our products than are required to satisfy end customer demand in any particular quarter, inventories at these distributors would grow in that quarter. These distributors could then reduce future orders until inventory levels realign with end customer demand, which could adversely affect our product revenue. Our reserve estimates with respect to the products stocked by our distributors are based principally on reports provided to us by our distributors, typically on a weekly basis. To the extent that this resale and channel inventory data is inaccurate or not received in a timely manner, we may not be able to make reserve estimates accurately or at all. We do not have any long-term supply contracts with our contract manufacturers or suppliers, and any disruption in our supply of products or materials could have a material adverse effect on our business, revenue and operating results. We currently do not have long-term supply contracts with any of our third-party vendors, including but, not limited to Global Foundries, SMIC, TSMC, and UMC. We make substantially all of our purchases on a purchase order basis, and our contract manufacturers are not required to supply us products for any specific period or in any specific quantity. Foundry capacity may not be available when we need it or at reasonable prices. Availability of foundry capacity has in the past been reduced from time to time due to strong demand. Foundries can allocate capacity to the production of other companies’ products and reduce deliveries to us on short notice. It is possible that foundry customers that are larger and better financed than we are, or that have long-term agreements with our foundry, may induce our foundry to reallocate capacity to them. This reallocation could impair our ability to secure the supply of components that we need. We generally place orders for products with some of our suppliers approximately four to five months prior to the anticipated delivery date, with order volumes based on our forecasts of demand from our customers. Accordingly, if we inaccurately forecast demand for our products, we may be unable to obtain adequate and cost-effective foundry or assembly capacity from our third-party contractors to meet our customers’ delivery requirements, or we may accumulate excess inventories. On occasion, we have been unable to adequately respond to unexpected increases in customer purchase orders and therefore were unable to benefit from this incremental demand. None of our third-party contractors has provided any assurance to us that adequate capacity will be available to us within the time required to meet additional demand for our products. We rely on third parties to provide services and technology necessary for the operation of our business. Any failure of one or more of our partners, vendors, suppliers or licensors to provide these services or technology could have a material adverse effect on our business. We rely on third-party vendors to provide critical services, including, among other things, services related to accounting, billing, human resources, information technology, network development, network monitoring, in-licensing and intellectual property that we cannot or do not create or provide ourselves. We depend on these vendors to ensure that our corporate infrastructure will consistently meet our business requirements. The ability of these third-party vendors to successfully provide reliable and high quality services is subject to technical and operational uncertainties that are beyond our control. While we may be entitled to damages if our vendors fail to perform under their agreements with us, our agreements with these vendors limit 35


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    Table of Contents the amount of damages we may receive. In addition, we do not know whether we will be able to collect on any award of damages or that these damages would be sufficient to cover the actual costs we would incur as a result of any vendor’s failure to perform under its agreement with us. Any failure of our corporate infrastructure could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Upon expiration or termination of any of our agreements with third-party vendors, we may not be able to replace the services provided to us in a timely manner or on terms and conditions, including service levels and cost, that are favorable to us and a transition from one vendor to another vendor could subject us to operational delays and inefficiencies until the transition is complete. Additionally, we incorporate third-party technology into and with some of our products, and we may do so in future products. The operation of our products could be impaired if errors occur in the third-party technology we use. It may be more difficult for us to correct any errors in a timely manner if at all because the development and maintenance of the technology is not within our control. There can be no assurance that these third parties will continue to make their technology, or improvements to the technology, available to us, or that they will continue to support and maintain their technology. Further, due to the limited number of vendors of some types of technology, it may be difficult to obtain new licenses or replace existing technology. Any impairment of the technology or our relationship with these third parties could have a material adverse effect on our business. Risks Relating to Our Common Stock Our management team may use our available cash and cash equivalents in ways with which you may not agree or in ways which may not yield a return. We use our cash and cash equivalents for general corporate purposes, including working capital and for repayment of outstanding long-term debt. We used a portion of these assets to acquire the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business and NanoSemi in the third quarter of 2020. We may also, in the future, use a portion of our assets to acquire other complementary businesses, products, services or technologies. Our management has considerable discretion in the application of our cash and cash equivalents, and resources, and you will not have the opportunity to assess whether these liquid assets are being used in a manner that you deem best to maximize your return. We may use our available cash and cash equivalents and resources for corporate purposes that do not increase our operating results or market value. In addition, in the future our cash and cash equivalents, and resources may be placed in investments that do not produce significant income or that may lose value. Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of us more difficult, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management and limit the market price of our common stock. Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, as amended and restated, may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. These provisions provide for the following: • authorize our Board of Directors to issue, without further action by the stockholders, up to 25,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock; • require that any action to be taken by our stockholders be effected at a duly called annual or special meeting and not by written consent; • specify that special meetings of our stockholders can be called only by our Board of Directors, our Chairman of the Board of Directors, or our President; • establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder approvals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our Board of Directors; • establish that our Board of Directors is divided into three classes, Class I, Class II and Class III, with each class serving staggered terms; • provide that our directors may be removed only for cause; • provide that vacancies on our Board of Directors may be filled only by a majority of directors then in office, even though less than a quorum; • specify that no stockholder is permitted to cumulate votes at any election of directors; and 36


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    Table of Contents • require supermajority votes of the holders of our common stock to amend specified provisions of our charter documents. These provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our Board of Directors, which is responsible for appointing the members of our management. In addition, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which generally prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any of a broad range of business combinations with any “interested” stockholder for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder became an “interested” stockholder. Our share price may be volatile as a result of various factors. The trading price of our common stock is highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control. These factors include those discussed in this “Risk Factors” section of the Annual Report on Form 10-K and others such as: • actual or anticipated fluctuations in our financial condition and operating results; • overall conditions in the semiconductor market; • addition or loss of significant customers; • changes in laws or regulations applicable to our products; • actual or anticipated changes in our growth rate relative to our competitors; • announcements of technological innovations by us or our competitors; • announcements by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, or capital commitments; • additions or departures of key personnel; • competition from existing products or new products that may emerge; • issuance of new or updated research or reports by securities analysts; • fluctuations in the valuation of companies perceived by investors to be comparable to us; • disputes or other developments related to proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters, and our ability to obtain intellectual property protection for our technologies; • acquisitions may not be accretive and may cause dilution to our earnings per shares; • announcement or expectation of additional financing efforts; • sales of our common stock by us or our stockholders; and • general economic and market conditions, including the global COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the stock markets recently have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have affected and continue to affect the market prices of equity securities of many companies. These fluctuations often have been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. These broad market and industry fluctuations, as well as general economic, political, and market conditions such as recessions, interest rate changes or international currency fluctuations, may negatively impact the market price of our common stock. In the past, companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have been subject to securities class action litigation. We have been and may continue to be the target of this type of litigation in the future. Securities litigation against us could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention from other business concerns, which could seriously harm our business. 37


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    Table of Contents If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or publish negative reports about our business, our share price and trading volume could decline. The trading market for our common stock depends in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. We do not have any control over these analysts. If one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our shares or change their opinion of our shares, our share price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of our Company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which could cause our share price or trading volume to decline. Future sales of our common stock in the public market could cause our share price to decline. Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception that these sales might occur, could depress the market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 74.5 million shares of common stock outstanding. All shares of common stock are freely tradable without restrictions or further registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, unless held by our “affiliates,” as that term is defined under Rule 144 of the Securities Act. Our Executive Incentive Bonus Plan permits the settlement of awards under the plan in the form of shares of our common stock. We have issued shares of our common stock to settle such bonus awards for our employees, including executives, for the 2014 to 2019 performance periods, and we intend to continue this practice in the foreseeable future. We issued 0.2 million shares of our common stock for the 2019 performance period in March 2020. If we issue additional shares of our common stock to settle bonus awards in the future, such shares may be freely sold in the public market immediately following the issuance of such shares, subject to the applicable conditions of Rule 144 and our insider trading policy, and the issuance of such shares may have an adverse effect on our share price once they are issued. We do not intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future. We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock and do not intend to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. We anticipate that we will retain all of our future earnings for use in the development of our business and for general corporate purposes. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors. Accordingly, investors must rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any future gains on their investments. General Risk Factors Global economic conditions, including factors that adversely affect consumer spending for the products that incorporate our integrated circuits, could adversely affect our revenues, margins, and operating results. Our products are incorporated in numerous consumer devices, and demand for such products will ultimately be driven by consumer demand for products such as televisions, personal computers, automobiles, cable modems, and set-top boxes. Many of these purchases are discretionary. Global economic volatility and economic volatility in the specific markets in which the devices that incorporate our products are ultimately sold can cause extreme difficulties for our customers and third-party vendors in accurately forecasting and planning future business activities. This unpredictability could cause our customers to reduce spending on our products, which would delay and lengthen sales cycles. Furthermore, during challenging economic times our customers may face challenges in gaining timely access to sufficient credit, which could impact their ability to make timely payments to us. These events, together with economic volatility that may face the broader economy and, in particular, the semiconductor and communications industries, may adversely affect, our business, particularly to the extent that consumers decrease their discretionary spending for devices deploying our products. Changes in trade policies among the United States and other countries, in particular the imposition of new or higher tariffs, could place pressure on our average selling prices as our customers seek to offset the impact of increased tariffs on their own products. Increased tariffs or the imposition of other barriers to international trade could have a material adverse effect on our revenues and operating results. The United States has imposed or proposed new or higher tariffs on certain products exported by a number of U.S. trading partners, including China, Europe, Canada, and Mexico. In response, many of those trading partners, including China, 38


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    Table of Contents have imposed or proposed new or higher tariffs on American products. Continuing changes in government trade policies create a heightened risk of further increased tariffs that impose barriers to international trade. Our business and operating results are substantially dependent on international trade. Many of our manufacturers sell products incorporating our semiconductors into international markets. Tariffs on our customers’ products may adversely affect our gross profit margins in the future due to the potential for increased pressure on our selling prices by customers seeking to offset the impact of tariffs on their own products. In addition, tariffs could make our OEM and ODM customers’ products less attractive relative to products offered by their competitors, which may not be subject to similar tariffs. Some OEM and ODMs in our industry have already implemented short-term price adjustments to offset such tariffs and transitioned their production and supply chain to locations outside of China. We believe that increases in tariffs on imported goods or the failure to resolve current international trade disputes could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results. If we suffer losses to our facilities or distribution system due to catastrophe, our operations could be seriously harmed. Our facilities and distribution system, and those of our third-party contractors, are subject to risk of catastrophic loss due to fire, flood or other natural or man-made disasters. A number of our facilities and those of our contract manufacturers are located in areas with above average seismic activity. The risk of an earthquake in the Pacific Rim region or Southern California is significant due to the proximity of major earthquake fault lines. Any catastrophic loss to any of these facilities would likely disrupt our operations, delay production, shipments and revenue and result in significant expenses to repair or replace the facility. The majority of the factories we use for foundry, assembly and test, and warehousing services, are located in Asia, principally in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Our corporate headquarters is located in Southern California. Our operations and financial condition could be seriously harmed in the event of a major earthquake, fire, or other natural or man-made disaster. Unanticipated changes in our tax rates or unanticipated tax obligations could affect our future results. We are subject to income taxes in the United States, Singapore and various other foreign jurisdictions. The amount of income taxes we pay is subject to our interpretation and application of tax laws in jurisdictions in which we file. Changes in current or future laws or regulations, the imposition of new or changed tax laws or regulations or new interpretations by taxing authorities or courts could affect our results of operations and lead to volatility with respect to tax expenses and liabilities from period to period. The application of tax laws and related regulations is subject to legal and factual interpretation, judgment and uncertainty. We cannot determine whether any legislative proposals may be enacted into law or what, if any, changes may be made to such proposals prior to their being enacted into law. If U.S. or international tax laws change in a manner that increases our tax obligation, it could result in a material adverse impact on our results of operations and our financial position. We are subject to examinations and tax audits. There can be no assurance that the outcome from these audits will not have an adverse effect on our operating results or financial position. Excess tax benefits associated with employee stock-based compensation are included in income tax expense. However, since the amount of such excess tax benefits and deficiencies depend on the fair market value of our common stock, our income tax provision is subject to volatility in our stock price and in the future, could unfavorably affect our future effective tax rate. Our future effective tax rate could be unfavorably affected by unanticipated changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, and the ultimate use and depletion of these various tax credits and net operating loss carryforwards. Changes in our effective tax rate could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations. We record a valuation allowance to reduce our net deferred tax assets to the amount that we believe is more likely than not to be realized. In making such determination, we consider all available positive and negative evidence quarterly, including scheduled reversals of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income, tax planning strategies, and recent financial performance. To the extent we believe it is more likely than not that some portion of our deferred tax assets will not be realized, we record a valuation allowance against the deferred tax asset. Realization of our deferred tax assets is dependent primarily upon future taxable income in the applicable jurisdiction. Based upon our review of all positive and negative evidence, we concluded that a full valuation allowance should continue to be recorded against our state and certain federal and foreign net deferred tax assets at December 31, 2020. On a periodic basis we evaluate our deferred tax assets for realizability. The impact of releasing some or all of such valuation allowance in a future period could be material in the period in which such release occurs. 39


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    Table of Contents Our corporate income tax liability could materially increase if tax incentives we have negotiated in Singapore cease to be effective or applicable or if we are challenged on our use of such incentives. We operate under certain favorable tax incentives in Singapore which are effective through March 2022 and may be extended through March 2027, and generally are dependent on our meeting certain headcount and investment thresholds. Such incentives allow certain qualifying income earned in Singapore to be taxed at reduced rates and are conditional upon our meeting certain employment and investment thresholds over time. If we fail to satisfy the conditions for receipt of these tax incentives, or to the extent U.S. or other tax authorities challenge our operation under these favorable tax incentive programs or our intercompany transfer pricing agreements, our taxable income could be taxed at higher federal or foreign statutory rates and our income tax liability and expense could materially increase beyond our projections. Each of our Singapore tax incentives is separate and distinct from the others, and may be granted, withheld, extended, modified, truncated, complied with or terminated independently without any effect on the other incentives. Absent these tax incentives, our corporate income tax rate in Singapore would generally be the 17% statutory tax rate. We are also subject to operating and other compliance requirements to maintain our favorable tax incentives. If we fail to comply with such requirements, we could lose the tax benefits and could possibly be required to refund previously realized material tax benefits. Additionally, in the future, we may fail to qualify for renewal of our favorable tax incentives or such incentives may not be available to us, which could also cause our future taxable income to increase and be taxed at higher statutory rates. Loss of one more of our tax incentives could cause us to modify our tax strategies and our operational structure, which could cause disruption in our business and have a material adverse impact on our results of operations. Further, there can be no guarantee that such modification in our tax strategy will yield tax incentives as favorable as those we have negotiated with Singapore. Our interpretations and conclusions regarding the tax incentives are not binding on any taxing authority, and if our assumptions about tax and other laws are incorrect or if these tax incentives are substantially modified or rescinded we could suffer material adverse tax and other financial consequences, which would increase our expenses, reduce our profitability and adversely affect our cash flows. We have assumed certain unfunded defined benefit retirement plan obligations in an acquisition. Such obligations may require a significant amount of cash to fund in the future, and changes in assumptions underlying the obligation and return on plan assets may adversely affect our earnings, equity and contributions in future. We assumed an obligation associated with certain defined benefit retirement plans, including a pension plan, which cover certain employees of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business and generally provide benefits based on negotiated amounts for each year of service. These plans were underfunded by $6.4 million as of December 31, 2020. We have never managed defined benefit plans in our operating history. We are required to make contributions to the pension plan. Additionally, with respect to certain other defined benefit plans, if the unfunded status reaches certain levels, we could be required to make contributions to cover the shortfall. Our obligation to make contributions may be impacted by a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control, including but not limited to, performance of plan assets and legislative changes. The net benefit obligation and cost is materially affected by the discount rate used to measure pension obligations, level of plan assets available to fund such obligations and long-term rate of return on plan assets. While such plans have not had a material impact on our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020, future changes in the discount rate used to measure the defined benefit obligation could result in a significant increase or decrease in the valuation of such obligations, affecting the reported funded status of our defined benefit plans as well as the net periodic pension cost in the following years. Similarly, changes in the expected return on plan assets, which may be significantly impacted by changes in investment performance or a change in portfolio mix, can result in significant changes in the net periodic pension cost in the subsequent years. Investor confidence may be adversely impacted if we are unable to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and as a result, our stock price could decline. We are subject to rules adopted by the Securities Exchange Commission, or SEC, pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which require us to include in our Annual Report on Form 10-K our management’s report on, and assessment of the effectiveness of, our internal controls over financial reporting. If we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal controls, there is a risk that we will not comply with all of the requirements imposed by Section 404. Moreover, effective internal controls, particularly those related to revenue recognition, are necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports and are important to helping prevent financial fraud. Any of these possible outcomes could result in an adverse reaction in the financial marketplace due to a loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our consolidated financial statements and could result in investigations or sanctions by the SEC, the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, or other regulatory authorities or in stockholder litigation. Any of these factors ultimately could harm our business and could negatively impact the market price of our securities. Ineffective control over financial reporting 40


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    Table of Contents could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could adversely affect the trading price of our common stock. Our disclosure controls and procedures are designed to provide reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives. However, our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, does not expect that our disclosure controls and procedures will prevent all error and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. Further, the design of a control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their costs. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, have been detected. ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS None. ITEM 2. PROPERTIES Our corporate headquarters occupy approximately 68,000 square feet in Carlsbad, California under a lease that expires in June 2022. A full range of business and engineering functions are represented at our corporate headquarters, including a laboratory for research and development and manufacturing operations. In addition to our principal office spaces in Carlsbad, we have active leased facilities in Irvine, California; San Jose, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Burnaby, Canada; Bangalore, India; Singapore; Taipei and Hsinchu, Taiwan; Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, China; Seoul, South Korea; Tokyo, Japan; Paterna, Spain; Villach, Austria; Munich, Germany; and in Petah Tikva, Israel. ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS From time to time, we are subject to threats of litigation or actual litigation in the ordinary course of business, some of which may be material. We believe that there are no currently pending litigation matters that, if determined adversely by us, would have a material effect on our business or that would not be covered by our existing liability insurance. ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES Not applicable. 41


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    Table of Contents PART II — FINANCIAL INFORMATION ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES Market Information and Holders Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE, under the symbol MXL. According to our transfer agent, as of February 4, 2021, there were 71 record holders of our common stock. We believe we have approximately 22,000 beneficial holders of our common stock. Dividend Policy We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation of our business and do not anticipate paying any dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to declare dividends will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our financial condition, operating results, capital requirements, general business conditions and other factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant. Stock Performance Graph Notwithstanding any statement to the contrary in any of our previous or future filings with the SEC, the following information relating to the price performance of our common stock shall not be deemed “filed” with the SEC or “Soliciting Material” under the Exchange Act, or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C, or to liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act except to the extent we specifically request that such information be treated as soliciting material or to the extent we specifically incorporate this information by reference. The graph below compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock with the cumulative total return on The NYSE Composite Index and The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. The period shown commences on December 31, 2015 and ends on December 31, 2020, the end of our last fiscal year. The graph assumes an investment of $100 on December 31, 2015, and the reinvestment of any dividends. 42


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    Table of Contents The comparisons in the graph below are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission and are not intended to forecast or be indicative of possible future performance of our common stock. Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities None. Recent Repurchases of Equity Securities None. 43


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    Table of Contents ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA We have derived the selected consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 and selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 from our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this report. We have derived the consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 from our consolidated financial statements not included in this report. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for any future period. As described in Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements included herein, as a result of the adoption of ASC 606 as of January 1, 2018 using the modified retrospective method, amounts for years prior to 2018 have not been adjusted to reflect the change to recognize certain distributor sales upon sale to the distributor, or the sell-in method, from recognition upon the Company’s sale to the distributors’ end customers, or the sell-through method, which required the deferral of revenue and profit on such distributor sales. Also, due to the adoption of ASC 842 on January 1, 2019 with a cumulative effect adjustment to accumulated deficit, amounts for periods prior to 2019 in the consolidated balance sheets have not been adjusted to reflect certain lease-related assets and liabilities. The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this report. Years Ended December 31, 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 (in thousands, except per share amounts) Consolidated Statement of Operations Data: Net revenue $ 478,596 $ 317,180 $ 384,997 $ 420,318 $ 387,832 Cost of net revenue 265,798 149,495 176,223 212,355 157,842 Gross profit 212,798 167,685 208,774 207,963 229,990 Operating expenses: Research and development 179,993 98,344 120,046 112,279 97,745 Selling, general and administrative 130,025 88,762 101,789 105,831 64,454 Impairment losses 86 — 2,198 2,000 1,300 Restructuring charges 3,833 2,636 3,838 9,524 3,432 Total operating expenses 313,937 189,742 227,871 229,634 166,931 Income (loss) from operations (101,139) (22,057) (19,097) (21,671) 63,059 Interest income 409 775 78 274 572 Interest expense (12,952) (11,133) (14,255) (10,378) (104) Other income (expense), net (1,170) (69) 422 (2,223) 163 Total interest and other income (expense), net (13,713) (10,427) (13,755) (12,327) 631 Income (loss) before income taxes (114,852) (32,484) (32,852) (33,998) 63,690 Income tax provision (benefit) (16,259) (12,586) (6,653) (24,811) 2,398 Net income (loss) $ (98,593) $ (19,898) $ (26,199) $ (9,187) $ 61,292 Net income (loss) per share: Basic $ (1.35) $ (0.28) $ (0.38) $ (0.14) $ 0.96 Diluted $ (1.35) $ (0.28) $ (0.38) $ (0.14) $ 0.91 Shares used to compute net income (loss) per share: Basic 73,133 71,005 68,490 66,252 63,781 Diluted 73,133 71,005 68,490 66,252 67,653 44


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    Table of Contents As of December 31, 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 (in thousands) Consolidated Balance Sheet Data: Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and short- and long-term investments, available- for-sale $ 150,034 $ 93,117 $ 74,191 $ 74,412 $ 136,805 Working capital 128,057 115,208 110,044 124,918 158,304 Total assets 1,022,442 705,791 743,593 824,862 422,652 Total stockholders’ equity 391,117 414,920 399,936 387,424 352,424 ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS Forward-Looking Statements The following discussion and analysis of the financial condition and results of our operations should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this report. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed below. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified below, and those discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” included elsewhere in this report. Overview We are a provider of communications systems-on-chip solutions used in broadband, mobile and wireline infrastructure, data center, and industrial and multi-market applications. We are a fabless integrated circuit design company whose products integrate all or substantial portions of a high-speed communication system, including radio frequency (RF), high-performance analog, mixed-signal, digital signal processing, security engines, data compression and networking layers, and power management. In most cases, these products are designed on a single silicon-die, using standard digital complimentary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processes and conventional packaging technologies. We believe this approach enables our solutions to achieve superior power, performance, and cost relative to our industry competition. Our customers include electronics distributors, module makers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and original design manufacturers (ODMs), who incorporate our products in a wide range of electronic devices. Examples of such devices include cable Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS), fiber and DSL broadband modems and gateways; Wi-Fi and wireline routers for home networking; radio transceivers and modems for 4G/5G base-station and backhaul infrastructure; fiber-optic modules for data center, metro, and long-haul transport networks; as well as power management and interface products used in these and many other markets. Our highly integrated semiconductor devices and platform-level solutions are primarily manufactured using low-cost CMOS process technology. CMOS processes are ideally suited for large digital logic implementations targeting high-volume and low-cost consumer applications. Importantly, our ability to design analog and mixed-signal circuits in CMOS allows us to efficiently combine analog functionality and complex digital signal processing logic in the same integrated circuit. As a result, our solutions have exceptional levels of functional integration and performance, low manufacturing cost, and reduced power consumption. In addition, our proprietary CMOS-based radio and digital system architectures also enable shorter design cycles, significant design flexibility and low system-level cost across a wide range of broadband communications, wired and wireless infrastructure, and industrial and multi-market customer applications. In fiscal 2020, our net revenue was derived primarily from sales of RF receivers and RF receiver systems-on-chip and connectivity solutions into broadband operator voice and data modems and gateways and connectivity adapters, global analog and digital RF receiver products for analog and digital Pay-TV applications, radio and modem solutions into wireless carrier access and backhaul infrastructure platforms, high-speed optical interconnect solutions sold into optical modules for data-center, metro and long- haul networks, and high-performance interface and power management solutions into a broad range of communications, industrial, automotive and multi-market applications. Our ability to achieve revenue growth in the future will depend, among other factors, on our ability to further penetrate existing markets; our ability to expand our target addressable markets by developing new and innovative products; changes in government trade policies; and our ability to obtain design wins with device manufacturers, in particular manufacturers of set-top boxes, data modems, and gateways for the broadband 45


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    Table of Contents service provider and Pay-TV industries, manufacturers selling into the smartphone market, storage networking market, cable infrastructure market, industrial and automotive markets, and optical module and telecommunications infrastructure markets. Products shipped to Asia accounted for 82%, 84% and 81% of net revenue during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, including for 42%, 46%, and 43%, respectively, from products shipped to Hong Kong and 17%, 14% and 19%, respectively, from products shipped to China. Although a large percentage of our products is shipped to Asia, we believe that a significant number of the systems designed by these customers and incorporating our semiconductor products are then sold outside Asia. For example, revenue generated from sales of our cable modem products during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 related principally to sales to Asian ODMs and contract manufacturers delivering products into European and North American markets. To date, all of our sales have been denominated in United States dollars. A significant portion of our net revenue has historically been generated by a limited number of customers. Sales to customers comprise both direct sales to customers and indirect sales through distributors. In the year ended December 31, 2020, two of our direct customers accounted for 28% of our net revenue, and our ten largest customers collectively accounted for 68% of our net revenue, of which distributor customers comprised 41% of our net revenue. In the year ended December 31, 2019, one of our direct customers, Commscope, accounted for 14% of our net revenue, and our ten largest customers collectively accounted for 63% of our net revenue, of which distributor customers comprised 38% of our net revenue. In the year ended December 31, 2018, Commscope accounted for 18% of our net revenue, and our ten largest customers collectively accounted for 61% of our net revenue, of which distributor customers comprised 29% of our net revenue. For certain customers, we sell multiple products into disparate end user applications such as cable modems, satellite set-top boxes and broadband gateways. Our business depends on winning competitive bid selection processes, known as design wins, to develop semiconductors for use in our customers’ products. These selection processes are typically lengthy, and as a result, our sales cycles will vary based on the specific market served, whether the design win is with an existing or a new customer and whether our product being designed in our customer’s device is a first generation or subsequent generation product. Our customers’ products can be complex and, if our engagement results in a design win, can require significant time to define, design and result in volume production. Because the sales cycle for our products is long, we can incur significant design and development expenditures in circumstances where we do not ultimately recognize any revenue. We do not have any long-term purchase commitments with any of our customers, all of whom purchase our products on a purchase order basis. Once one of our products is incorporated into a customer’s design, however, we believe that our product is likely to remain a component of the customer’s product for its life cycle because of the time and expense associated with redesigning the product or substituting an alternative chip. Product life cycles in our target markets will vary by application. For example, in the cable operator modem and gateway sectors, a design-in can have a product life cycle of 24 to 48 months. In the industrial and wired and wireless infrastructure markets, a design-in can have a product life cycle of 24 to 60 months and beyond. Impact of COVID-19 In late January 2020 and early February 2020, in response to a severe outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, the government of China instituted mandatory quarantines in Wuhan, China, extended lunar new year holiday closures, and restricted shipments out of the country. This resulted in a temporary delay in our product shipments in the first quarter of 2020. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic regarding COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has reached all of the countries and states in which we operate, including in California where our headquarters and central engineering team are located, as well as Massachusetts, Spain, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, and Austria, where additional engineering, sales, and administrative personnel are located. In many of these jurisdictions, local authorities have instituted stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. To protect the health and safety of our employees, we adopted social distancing policies including suspending employee travel and implementing remote work arrangements for substantially all of our workforce worldwide. As of December 31, 2020, some of our workforce has returned to the office at a reduced capacity adhering to local health authority guidelines. While we experienced some negative impact to our net revenue and gross profits in the first half of 2020 due to several industry-wide dynamics related to COVID-19, including the supply constraints described above, as well as certain customer order push-out requests, we are currently benefiting from the work-from-home environment that is driving an increase in demand for certain of our products. Further, global financial markets reacted negatively to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts causing significant declines in the stock price and market capitalization of many companies across all industries, although some have recovered. Heightened volatility and uncertainty in customer demand and the worldwide economy has continued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we may experience increased volatility in our sales and revenues in the near future. However, the magnitude of such volatility on our business and its duration is uncertain and cannot be reasonably estimated at this time. 46


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    Table of Contents As described below, on July 31, 2020, we consummated transactions contemplated by a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets and assume certain liabilities from Intel Corporation, or Intel, related to its Home Gateway Platform Division, which we refer to as the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business, and on September 9, 2020, we completed our acquisition of NanoSemi, Inc., or NanoSemi, pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger with NanoSemi, dated September 9, 2020, or the Merger Agreement. These businesses also operate in jurisdictions that have been and continue to be materially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, our Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business has major engineering, development, and other personnel in Germany, Austria, Israel, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China and NanoSemi has engineering and development personnel in Boston, Massachusetts. Attempting to complete the integration of an acquisition of assets and new personnel around the world has been and will continue to be substantially complicated by continuing restrictions on travel and social distancing. In addition, engagement with newly integrated employees from the acquisitions has been and will continue to be similarly complicated and presents potential employee retention risks. We are taking various steps to mitigate these risks, but we cannot predict whether or to what extent the pandemic may adversely affect our ability to retain employees and successfully integrate the acquired businesses. In addition, the operating results of the acquired businesses are subject to the same financial and operational risks posed to MaxLinear’s current businesses, including potential declines in revenues, supply constraints, and other factors generally affecting businesses worldwide. For further discussion of potential risks arising from the acquisition, please see the discussion in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K captioned “Risk Factors.” Recent Developments Acquisition of Home Gateway Platform Division of Intel Corporation On July 31, 2020, we completed our acquisition of the Home Gateway Platform Division, which we refer to as the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business, pursuant to an Asset Purchase Agreement with Intel, dated April 5, 2020, and related agreements. We paid cash consideration of $150.0 million for the purchase of certain assets of the Wi-Fi and Broadband assets business, and assumed certain liabilities related to specified employment matters. The transaction was funded with a portion of the proceeds from a secured incremental term loan with an aggregate principal amount of $175.0 million. Acquisition of NanoSemi, Inc. On September 9, 2020, we completed our acquisition of NanoSemi pursuant to the Merger Agreement. The initial closing transaction consideration consisted of $10 million in cash and 804,163 shares of our common stock. In addition, the NanoSemi securityholders will receive $35 million in deferred cash payments payable in 2021, and certain NanoSemi securityholders may also receive up to an additional $35 million in potential contingent consideration, subject to the acquired business’s satisfying certain financial objectives from July 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022. The stock consideration was issued in reliance on exemptions from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. In connection with the acquisition, we agreed to provide the NanoSemi stockholders with certain registration rights with respect to the shares of our common stock they received in the acquisition. For more information, please refer to Note 3 of our consolidated financial statements. Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates Management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon our financial statements which are prepared in accordance with accounting principles that are generally accepted in the United States. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. We continually evaluate our estimates and judgments, the most critical of which are those related to revenue recognition, inventory valuation, income taxes and stock-based compensation. We base our estimates and judgments on historical experience and other factors that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Materially different results can occur as circumstances change and additional information becomes known. We believe that the following accounting policies involve a greater degree of judgment and complexity than our other accounting policies. Accordingly, these are the policies we believe are the most critical to understanding and evaluating our consolidated financial condition and results of operations. Business Combinations We apply the provisions of ASC 805, Business Combinations, in accounting for our acquisitions. ASC 805 requires us to recognize separately from goodwill the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed, at the acquisition date fair values. Goodwill 47


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    Table of Contents as of the acquisition date is measured as the excess of consideration transferred over the acquisition date fair values of the net assets acquired and the liabilities assumed. While we use our best estimates and assumptions to accurately value assets acquired and liabilities assumed at the acquisition date as well as contingent consideration, where applicable, our estimates are inherently uncertain and subject to refinement. As a result, during the measurement period, which may be up to one year from the acquisition date, we record adjustments to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed with the corresponding offset to goodwill. Upon the conclusion of the measurement period or final determination of the values of assets acquired or liabilities assumed, whichever comes first, any subsequent adjustments are recorded to the consolidated statements of operations. Costs to exit or restructure certain activities of an acquired company or our internal operations are accounted for as termination and exit costs pursuant to ASC 420,Exit or Disposal Cost Obligations, and are accounted for separately from the business combination. A liability for costs associated with an exit or disposal activity is recognized and measured at its fair value in the consolidated statement of operations in the period in which the liability is incurred. For a given acquisition, we may identify certain pre-acquisition contingencies as of the acquisition date and may extend our review, evaluation, and adjustment of these pre-acquisition contingencies throughout the measurement period in order to obtain sufficient information to assess whether we include these contingencies as a part of the fair value estimates of assets acquired and liabilities assumed and, if so, to determine their estimated amounts. A pre-acquisition contingency (non-income tax related) is only recognized as an asset or a liability if (i) it is probable that an asset existed or a liability had been incurred at the acquisition date and (ii) the amount of the asset or liability can be reasonably estimated. Subsequent to the measurement period, changes in estimates of such contingencies will affect earnings and could have a material effect on results of operations and financial position. In addition, uncertain tax positions and tax related valuation allowances assumed in connection with a business combination are initially estimated as of the acquisition date. We reevaluate these items quarterly based upon facts and circumstances that existed as of the acquisition date with any adjustments to the preliminary estimates being recorded to goodwill if identified within the measurement period. Subsequent to the measurement period or final determination of the estimated value of the tax allowance or contingency, whichever comes first, changes to these uncertain tax positions and tax related valuation allowances will affect the income taxes provision (benefit) in the consolidated statement of operations and could have a material impact on the results of operations and financial position. Revenue Recognition Our revenue is primarily generated from sales of our integrated circuits to electronics distributors, module makers, OEMs, and ODMs under individual customer purchase orders, some of which have underlying master sales agreements that specify terms governing the product sales. Effective January 1, 2018, we adopted ASC 606 and recognize revenue at the point in time when control of the products is transferred to the customer at the estimated net consideration for which collection is probable, taking into account our customer's rights to price protection, other pricing credits, unit rebates, and rights to return unsold product. Transfer of control occurs either when products are shipped to or received by the distributor or direct customer, based on the terms of the specific agreement with the customer, if we have a present right to payment and transfer of legal title and the risks and rewards of ownership to the customer has occurred. For most of our product sales, transfer of control occurs upon shipment to our distributor or direct customer. In assessing whether collection of consideration from a customer is probable, we consider the customer's ability and intention to pay that amount of consideration when it is due. Payment of invoices is due as specified in the underlying customer agreement, typically 30 days from the invoice date, which occurs on the date of transfer of control of the products to the customer. Since payment terms are less than a year, we have elected the practical expedient and do not assess whether a customer contract has a significant financing component. A five-step approach is applied in the recognition of revenue under ASC 606: (1) identify the contract with a customer, (2) identify the performance obligations in the contract, (3) determine the transaction price, (4) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract, and (5) recognize revenue when we satisfy a performance obligation. We applied ASC 606 to our customer contracts that were not completed before the January 1, 2018 adoption date. Customer purchase orders plus the underlying master sales agreements are considered to be contracts with the customer for purposes of applying the five-step approach under ASC 606. Pricing adjustments and estimates of returns under contractual stock rotation rights are treated as variable consideration for purposes of determining the transaction price, and are estimated at the time control transfers using the expected value method based on our analysis of actual price adjustment claims by distributors and product and historical return rates, and then reassessed at the end of each reporting period. We also consider whether any variable consideration is constrained, since such amounts for which it is probable that a significant reversal will occur when the contingency is subsequently resolved are 48


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    Table of Contents required to be excluded from revenues. Price adjustments are finalized at the time the products are sold through to the end customer and the distributor or end customer submits a claim to reduce the sale price to a pre-approved net price. Stock rotation allowances are capped at a fixed percentage of our sales to a distributor for a period of time, up to six months, as specified in the individual distributor contract. If our current estimates of such credits and rights are materially inaccurate, it may result in adjustments that affect future revenues and gross profits. Returns under our general assurance warranty of products for a period of one to three years have not been material and warranty-related services are not considered a separate performance obligation under the customer contracts. Most of our customers resell our product as part of their product and thus are tax- exempt, however to the extent we collect and remit taxes on product sales from customers, we have elected to exclude from the measurement of transaction price such taxes. Each distinct promise to transfer products is considered to be an identified performance obligation for which revenue is recognized upon transfer of control of the products to the customer. Although customers may place orders for products to be delivered on multiple dates that may be in different quarterly reporting periods, all of the orders are scheduled within one year from the order date. We have opted to not disclose the portion of revenues allocated to partially unsatisfied performance obligations, which represent products to be shipped within 12 months under open customer purchase orders, at the end of the current reporting period as allowed under ASC 606. We have also elected to record sales commissions when incurred, pursuant to the practical expedient under ASC 340, as the period over which the sales commission asset that would have been recognized is less than one year. Customer contract liabilities consist primarily of obligations to deliver rebates to customers in the form of units of products, which are included in accrued expenses and other current liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets. Other obligations to customers consist of estimates of price protection rights offered to our end customers, which are included in accrued price protection liability in the consolidated balance sheets, as well as price adjustments expected to be claimed by the distributor upon sell-through of the products to their customers, and amounts expected to be returned by distributors under stock rotation rights, which are included in accrued expenses and other current liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets. We also record a right of return asset consisting of amounts representing the products we expect to receive from customers in returns, which is included in inventory in the consolidated balance sheets, and is typically settled within six months of transfer of control to the customer, or the period over which stock rotation rights are based. Upon lapse of the time period for stock rotations, or the contractual end to price protection and rebate programs, which is approximately one to two years, and when we believe unclaimed amounts are no longer subject to payment and will not be paid, any remaining asset or liability is derecognized by an offsetting entry to cost of net revenue and net revenue. For additional disclosures regarding contract liabilities and other obligations to customers, see Note 15 to our consolidated financial statements. We assess customer accounts receivable and contract assets for impairment in accordance with ASC 310-10-35. Inventory Valuation We assess the recoverability of our inventory based on assumptions about demand and market conditions. Forecasted demand is determined based on historical sales and expected future sales. Inventory is stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value. Cost is computed using standard cost, which approximates actual cost on a first-in, first-out basis and net realizable value is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business, less reasonably predictable costs of completion, disposal and transportation. We reduce our inventory to its lower of cost or net realizable value on a part-by-part basis to account for its obsolescence or lack of marketability. Reductions are calculated as the difference between the cost of inventory and its net realizable value based upon assumptions about future demand, market conditions and costs. Once established, these adjustments are considered permanent and are not revised until the related inventory is sold or disposed of. If actual market conditions are less favorable than those projected by management, additional inventory write-downs may be required that may adversely affect our operating results. If actual market conditions are more favorable, we may have higher gross profits when products are sold. Production Masks Production masks with alternative future uses or discernible future benefits are capitalized and amortized over their estimated useful life of two years to five years. To determine if the production mask has alternative future uses or benefits, we evaluate risks associated with developing new technologies and capabilities, and the related risks associated with entering new markets. Production masks that do not meet the criteria for capitalization are expensed as research and development costs. 49

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