Chipset specialist Icera, which has ramped up its Cambridge development centre in recent years, is being acquired by Nasdaq-quoted California company NVIDIA for $367 million (£225m) in cash.
Icera is a leading innovator of top-performing baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets. It has more than 550 patents granted or pending worldwide and its high speed wireless-modem products have been approved by more than 50 carriers across the globe.
NVIDIA says the deal – already agreed both companies’ boards – will enhance its position as a leading player in the growing mobile market. The deal should close within 30 days – and Cambridge is expected to be a major beneficiary of the power play.
Icera CEO Stan Boland said the company’s portfolio of products will expand significantly in the near future – and that’s good news for the Cambridge development centre.
By offering the two main processors used in smartphones (the application processor and baseband processor), the combined company will help OEM customers both improve their time to market and deliver the requirements of next-generation mobile computing. NVIDIA says it will also have approximately doubled its revenue opportunity within each device.
The market for baseband processors is one of the fastest growing segments of the technology industry, worth an estimated $15 billion a year. Icera will be able to leverage NVIDIA’s momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets to capitalize on this growth.
Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA said: “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 and former chief of Acorn in Cambridge added: “NVIDIA’s Tegra processor has the most impressive roadmap in the industry and 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.”
Icera’s third-generation Livanto line of chipsets delivers the industry’s fastest data rates, cuts user wait times, reduces battery drain and supports multiple standards on the same hardware.
And its forthcoming Espresso®450 and Espresso®500 line of platforms provides industry-leading performance for 2G, 3G and 4G networks, low-power optimisation for voice and high-speed data, and the industry’s smallest form factor.