Nvidia to acquire Icera for $367 million

By on May 9, 2011, 9:48 AM

Nvidia announced today that it has agreed to acquire Icera, which creates baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets, for $367 million in cash. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the transaction and are expecting it to be completed, subject to customary closing conditions, in approximately 30 days.

Founded in 2002 and based in Bristol, England, Icera has approximately 300 employees in seven countries. The company 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 explains it is acquiring Icera because it wants to enhance its position as a leading player in the growing mobile market by offering the two main processors used in smartphones (the application processor and baseband processor). This will make it easier for OEM customers to satisfy their requirements for next-generation mobile products by having to work with one less company.

The deal also means Nvidia will approximately double 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 in 2010. Icera will be able to leverage NVIDIA's momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets to capitalize on this growth.

Iceras' custom-built wireless baseband processors with RF components scale from 2G to 4G networks. Because the baseband is software-based, the company insists manufacturers can develop multiple products from a common platform, reduce development costs, accelerate time to market, and secure a route to support future baseband standards.

"NVIDIA's Tegra processor has the most impressive roadmap in the industry, and it is an ideal match for Icera," Stan Boland, President and CEO of Icera, said in a statement. "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."




User Comments: 8

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Guest said:

This strikes as Nvidia looking to run away from AMD and the PC end of the market place; between their less then honest dealings with laptop owners and thier slow DX11 releases and wild claims without a single backing profile result as ' fastest card on the market'. Nvidia has single handedly made themselves the bad guys for most PC owners.. Can't say I'd be sorry to see a morally and ethically challenged company like this leave the PC market place.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Considering your tone, I assume you read and breath S|A articles... lol. Guest, I see it as them opening up opportunities into one of the fastest growing tech markets right now. As much as I love my desktop/laptop computer, high powered 'smart' phones and tablets are the rage right now, and they can position themselves competitively NOW, it could mean better profits than trying to put most of their effort to consumer graphics for desktops and laptops.

That being said, they aren't running away from anything either, as far as I'm still concerned they're still in the PC market, as much as you would like to inflame and kick out the Nvidia Name to make your precious AMD the big cheese. I'm not sure of the numbers now, but at least back at the end of the year they were more or less 50/50 when it came to overall shipments, so it won't happen any time soon.

Guest said:

given their continued drop in mainstream consumer market share to Intel and AMD.. I think this is a valid argument or is that not to be believed either.. portable/personal communication devices are like the length of a skirt in fashion, in the end they don't matter but yet everyone keeps buying the new thing because it's the 'thing' to do and have. Typical consumerism at it's worst.

mosu said:

Nvidia is slowly moving almost completely in the mobile sector, expect them to release complete products under their own brand...sometimes soon.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

given their continued drop in mainstream consumer market share to Intel and AMD.

Doesn't quite tally with Nvidia regaining the leading share of the discrete graphics market then...since you seem intent on writing Nvidia out of the PC market. It would seem that AMD are probably taking as many sales from their own discrete graphics as they are from Nvidia, and that their own gains are in the mobile segment -ironic huh?

I think this is a valid argument or is that not to be believed either..

See.....classic rookie mistake- coming out with an opinion and supposition and trying to purport them as facts. You think it's a valid argument -good for you. I got accosted at the airport once by some cryptozoologists who told me the validity of Unicorns....they seemed pretty self-satisfied also.

negroplasty negroplasty said:

dividebyzero said:

I think this is a valid argument or is that not to be believed either..

I got accosted at the airport once by some cryptozoologists who told me the validity of Unicorns....they seemed pretty self-satisfied also.

Hahaha... this.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think that NVIDIA is doing the smart thing by adapting to the new market. It will probably continue with graphics chips while this market is viable, especially since it's also using the same technology for HPC.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

^ Yep.

Three birds with one stone ( desktop/portable, workstation and server). As long as you can port a design that works for all three -even if it comes at the expense of a less flexible end product-then Nvidia stay in the graphics market.

As for the Icera acquisition, $367m doesn't seem like a lot of capital outlay to possibly help the company diversify- that's less than two annual payments from the Intel settlement

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