NVIDIA acquiring wireless chip manufacturer Icera, doubling-down on the post-PC era and the UK-based company you’ve probably never heard of has a line of 3G and 4G baseband processors used in wireless devices and USB modems chips that are said to be smaller, more flexible, and more efficient than the competition from Qualcomm and ST-Ericsson.Icera seems to have been focused heavily on LTE of late which puts NVIDIA in a good place to not only manage what happens to the data when its inside your next-gen phone or tablet……….
NVIDIA announced that it has agreed to acquire Icera, a leading innovator of top-performing baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets.Icera has more than 550 patents granted or pending worldwide, and its high speed wireless-modem products have been approved by more than 50 carriers across the globe. By combining the companies’ products and technologies, including NVIDIA‘s Tegra processor, NVIDIA will enhance its position as a leading player in the growing mobile market.The acquisition, for $367 million in cash, has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to be completed, subject to customary closing conditions, in approximately 30 days. The transaction is expected to be slightly dilutive on an operating basis through the first half of calendar 2012, and accretive on an operating basis in the second half of calendar 2012. This expectation does not take into account significant revenue synergies that the companies anticipate.By offering the two main processors used in smartphones (the application processor and baseband processor), the combined company will help OEM customers both improve their time to market and deliver the requirements of next-generation mobile computing. NVIDIA will also have approximately doubled its revenue opportunity within each device.The market for baseband processors is one of the fastest growing segments of the technology industry, worth an estimated $15 billion a year. Icera will be able to leverage NVIDIA‘s momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets to capitalize on this growth.
“This is a key step in NVIDIA’s plans to be a major player in the mobile computing revolution,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, President and CEO of NVIDIA. “Adding Icera’s technology to Tegra gives us an outstanding platform to support the industry’s best phones and tablets.“Icera is a perfect fit for NVIDIA. Our businesses are complementary. Icera has the right team, with a strong, proven track record. And their nimble, entrepreneurial, engineering-focused culture mirrors our own,” he continued.
Huang added that NVIDIA intends to continue to collaborate with its existing baseband partners and respect its customers’ preferences in combining application and baseband processors.
Stan Boland, President and CEO of Icera, said, “NVIDIA’s Tegra processor has the most impressive roadmap in the industry, and it is an ideal match for Icera. As part of NVIDIA, we will be able to reach a broader market. Our team has collaborated closely with NVIDIA for several years on a range of projects, and we’re delighted to be joining forces.”
Icera is a pioneer in next-generation, multi-protocol wireless baseband processors with RF components. Its technology scales from 2G to 4G networks, using a custom-built, ultra-low-power processor. Because the baseband is software-based, manufacturers can develop multiple products from a common platform, reduce development costs, accelerate time to market and secure a route to support future baseband standards.Icera‘s third-generation Livanto line of chipsets delivers the industry’s fastest data rates, cuts user wait times, reduces battery drain and supports multiple standards on the same hardware. And its forthcoming Espresso 450 and Espresso 500 line of platforms provides industry-leading performance for 2G, 3G and 4G networks, low-power optimization for voice and high-speed data, and the industry’s smallest form factor. Its portfolio of products will expand significantly in the near future.More details will be provided during NVIDIA‘s quarterly conference call to be held on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. PT. To listen to the conference call, please dial 706-679-2572; no password is required. The conference call will also be webcast live (in listen-only mode) at the following websites: www.nvidia.com and www.streetevents.com.
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