Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has agreed to pay CSR plc (Cambridge, England) $310 million for its handset connectivity and location operations and the associated technology. Samsung has also agreed to invest an additional $34.4 million to take a 4.9 percent stake in publicly-held CSR.
The deal leaves CSR free to focus on higher margin business and growth areas such as: voice & music, automotive infotainment, indoors location finding, imaging and Bluetooth smart.
CSR, founded as Cambridge Silicon Radio Ltd. in 1998 as a spin off from Cambridge Consultants, plans to return up to $285 million of the Samsung money to shareholders via a tender offer. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.
CSR has entered into a conditional binding agreement to transfer of CSR's development operations in handset connectivity and location, including 310 people, together with certain rights over CSR's technology in these areas. However, none of the revenues associated with CSR's existing handset products will be transferred.
In addition CSR retains the rights to use future connectivity and location technology, such as CSR9800, in areas other than handsets and mobile devices.
These are definitely lower volume areas, that's why they are mentioned to be "higher margin" because, in theory, higher volume means lower margin, and vice versa.
The question is: are these non-mobility or not? If CSR is only targeting non-handset related business, they will be reduced to a niche player and become irrelevant very soon.
This does explain why Kanwar Chadha, co-founder of SiRF, left CSR recently. http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/rambling--round/4376371/Mr--GPS-leaves-CSR
But CSR's strategy begs the question.
I fail to see where in the world CSR, wtihout the mobility part of it, will be able to find "higher margin business and growth areas." The release lists "voice & music, automotive infotainment, indoors location finding, imaging and Bluetooth smart."
Really? Are they higher margin business???
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.