AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands --- Royal Philips Electronics is to buy Systemonic GmbH, a three year-old startup company based in Dresden, Germany and apply that company's reconfigurable digital signal processing technology to multiple system-on-chip applications.
Systemonic is best known for applying its reconfigurable DSP technology to wireless LAN basebands able to address 802.11a/b/g standards, but Philips stressed that although the technology would be deployed by Philips in this area the technology is more generally applicable. Systemonic's products, intellectual property and systems expertise are expected to add high-speed wireless capabilities to the Nexperia system-on-chip design platform, Philips said.
The technology is expected to provide a boost to Philips' aspirations in the home- and enterprise-gateway product area, which is expected to comprise a broadband ADSL or VDSL pipe on the infrastructure side and multiple wired and wireless connections on the client side. Deployment of such gateways is being inhibited by the myriad standards available and Systeomonic's reconfigurable technology could aid Philips there.
"We are looking at Systemonic as a reconfigurable and software-programmable computing architecture. It's well suited to tracking the evolution of standards," said Paul Marino, general manager of the 'connectivity' business unit within Philips Semiconductors.
The financial terms and price for the purchase of Systemonic were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2003 and Systemonic is to be integrated within Philips Semiconductors.
"The entire team will join Philips at this time," said Marino. Systemonic currently employs about 90 people.
"The acquisition of Systemonic complements Philips vision of the 'Connected Home'. By adding high-speed wireless connectivity to our strong portfolio of audio/video, connectivity and broadband access technologies, Philips can now integrate all of these key technologies on a single chip so consumers can easily connect to information, entertainment and services anywhere in the home," said Phil Pollok, senior vice president of the emerging businesses unit within Philips Semiconductors, in a statement.
Systemonic a 1999 spin-off from the Technical University of Dresden, provides technology for a complete two-chip 802.11a/b and g solution. The company has been heavily backed by venture capital firms, including Sony Ventures, and acquired the wireless LAN activities of Raytheon in 2001.
When applied to wireless LAN the technology offers a range of up to 70 meters, a throughput of up to 72-Mbit/s. "We have a chip set going to customers in limited volumes," noted Karsten Roenner, executive vice president of Systemonic. That chip set is being fabbed at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. according to Roenner.
After the acquisition Philips plans to work on a cost-optimized version of the chipset that should sample in the first half of 2003 and go to high volume in 2003.
"We are making Systemonic an integral part of our strategy. You can expect some announcements about broadband router very soon," said Marino.