Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. last week reached an agreement to produce Bluetooth semiconductor products for Signia Technologies Inc., and plans to take a 15% stake in the wireless IC design company.
The transaction furthers ISSI's plan to expand its product offerings into one of the fastest-growing segments of the electronics industry, while Signia gains a bigger partner that can help reduce the costs of marketing and manufacturing its products.
"Signia's Bluetooth product line is an excellent fit for ISSI's product diversification strategy," said Jimmy Lee, ISSI's chairman and chief executive, in a statement. "This partnership, along with our recent acquisition of Purple Ray, a network search processor company, moves ISSI into new product areas beyond our existing core memory business."
The agreement calls for ISSI, Santa Clara, Calif., to invest $3 million in Signia, one-third of which has already been dispensed. The remaining amount will be invested when Signia conducts its next round of financing, the companies said. In addition to its equity stake in Signia, ISSI has acquired a worldwide license for its new partner's initial products and the right to develop additional Bluetooth products for Signia.
Signia, Milpitas, Calif., designs ICs for the wireless market using Bluetooth standards. The three-year-old company targets its products at cell phone, notebook, PC card, and wireless headset manufacturers. ISSI said the production of the Signia chips will be contracted to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., which currently produces ISSI's SRAM and network search products.
Signia said its products are currently being tested and expects shipments to begin as early as October.
The company said its Bluetooth products have a high degree of integration, which means "customers no longer have the added expense and design difficulty of glue logic, modules, or tuning critical external RF components."