LONDON – Graphics and CPU company Nvidia Corp. is stepping into 3- and 4G communications by way of the purchase of Icera Inc. (Bristol England) for $367 million in cash.
Icera, founded in 2002, has received more than $200 million in venture capital investment over the years and has more than 550 patents granted or pending worldwide. The company has specialized in creating software modems that run on its own ICs for incorporation in dongles and mobile phones.
By acquiring Icera Nvidia will be able to combine its own GPUs and ARM-based CPUs with mobile communications technology to enhance its position as a provider of chips, chipsets and software for mobile applications, the company said.
Nvidia said it would combine applications processors and baseband processors although it also stated that it would continue to collaborate with existing baseband partners and respect customers' preferences in combining application and baseband processors.
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 market for baseband processors is one of the fastest growing segments of the technology industry, worth an estimated $15 billion a year.
"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."
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."
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