Imagination backs Toumaz wireless IC spinout
1/3/2012 12:51 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO—Wireless communications technology firm Toumaz Ltd. said Tuesday (Jan. 3) it established a wireless semiconductor subsidiary for the purpose of splitting the company into two distinct entities, one to focus on the company's established healthcare products and technologies and one to be responsible for its growing wireless IC business.
Multimedia processor core licensor Imagination Technologies Group plc is also an investor in the fabless susidiary, dubbed Toumaz Microsystems, Toumaz (Abingdon, England) said. Imagination is investing a total of 5 million pounds (about $7.8 million) in the venture, in the form of cash, hardware and software technologies and supportive engineering resources, according to Toumaz. In exchange, Imagination will own 25 percent of Toumaz Microsystems, with Toumaz owning the remaining 75 percent, the company said.
Toumaz said its board of directors created the spinout in order to strengthen the focus of the company's healthcare and semiconductor divisions. Toumaz UK will cover health technology and solutions, while Toumaz Microsystems will provide ICs for low power wireless communication, Toumaz said. Both companies will be subsidiaries of Toumaz Ltd.
Toumaz Microsystems will focus on the design, development and sale of semiconductor chips and solutions for the embedded wireless connectivity market addressing the opportunities in a wide range of internet connected devices, Toumaz said. These include home and enterprise automation, healthcare, smart power, security/monitoring systems, intelligent toys and other connectivity-centric cloud-enabled systems, the firm said.
Toumaz said it has already moved its silicon IC design team and related assets to the subsidiary. Toumaz’s chip businesses and the group's ultra-low power radio IP and licenses of further IP will be transferred to Toumaz Microsystems, the company said. The subsidiary will focus on developing a new multi-standard connectivity chip, an ultra-low power radio receiver and transmitter chip incorporating the new IEEE standard 802.15.6 and other relevant standards, the firm said. It will be one of the first chips to be based on this new standard and will specifically target Body Area Networks and a range of low-power domestic consumer wireless sensor applications.
The board of Toumaz Microsystems will consist of two members from Toumaz and one from Imagination, Toumaz said. Professor Chris Toumazou, CEO of Toumaz, will become the chairman of Toumaz Microsystems, the firm said.
“Establishing Toumaz Microsystems is the next logical step for us, building a subsidiary for our radio IC chip development with investment and support from a strategic partner, Imagination," Toumazou said in a statement.