Lisbon, Portugal and Oslo, Norway — Nordic Semiconductor ASA (OSE: NOD) and Chipidea®, the world leader in analog/mixed-signal subsystems and intellectual property (IP), today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Chipidea to acquire the assets of Nordic Semiconductor’s Data Converter IP Business Unit for $6 million in cash.
The purchase price will be paid with an upfront payment upon closing the transaction of $ 2.6 million and with the remainder spread out in equal installments over the next 2.5 years. The agreement is subject to a period of limited due diligence and approvals from both companies’ Board of Directors. The transaction is expected to be closed by the end of February 2007.
The acquisition of this business further strengthens Chipidea’s position in data converter market and adds a significant catalog of IP to what is already the industry’s widest, end-to-end, analog and mixed-signal portfolio. The Data Converter Business Unit of Nordic Semiconductor is a long-term technology leader in data conversion IP Products for in-house projects, third-party ASIC designs, and standard products. The designs are leading-edge analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-to-analog converters (DACs) for use in areas such as digital photography, wireless networks and video. When closed, the acquisition will be immediately accretive for Chipidea.
The sale of Nordic’s Data Converter Business Unit will further strengthen Nordic Semiconductor’s focus on radio frequency (RF) components for the wireless personal area network, primarily in the 2.4GHz frequency band including both proprietary and Wibree radios.
“Chipidea offers one of the most popular lines of data converters in the industry and we believe that our IP, architecture and technology roadmaps are highly complementary with the data converter business of Nordic Semiconductor,” said José Franca, Co-founder, President and CEO, Chipidea. “The combination of these two businesses will allow Chipidea to significantly increase market share and strengthens our leadership position. We are very excited to be working with this group of very talented people to build on our combined leadership in this market.”
“With today’s announcement Nordic is completing its transition from being a provider of design services and IP, to now, a leading European fabless semiconductor supplier of standard RF components,” added Nordic CEO, Svenn-Tore Larsen. “Over the years, Nordic Semiconductor’s Data Converter Business Unit has made significant technical advancements and won major customers. The data converter market continues to present an attractive business opportunity, and we believe this business and its assets are an optimal fit for Chipidea. We have known Chipidea in the market for a long time and believe it has the ability to provide a stimulating working environment for the team and grow the business while maintaining customer commitments.”
Chipidea Microelectrónica S.A. is the world’s leading provider of analog/mixed-signal silicon intellectual property, according to market researcher Gartner Dataquest Inc. The company is a key supplier to system-on-chip designers targeting fast-growing market segments in wireless communications, digital media and consumer electronics. With the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of silicon-proven technology across a variety of product lines, Chipidea offers the widest breadth of intellectual property solutions for the world’s multi-function integrated circuit industry. Chipidea works hand-in-hand with its customers to ensure that its unique analog/mixed-signal expertise results in silicon success. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Chipidea employs 250 people in research, development and sales and marketing offices across Europe, Asia and North America. Information about Chipidea can be found at www.chipidea.com.
Specifically for Data Conversion (Nyquist), Chipidea offers a rich portfolio of solutions available in various technology nodes from 65nm to 0.18um, encompassing the following Product Lines:
- Analog Front-ends for Broadband wireless communications (WiFi, WiMax, WiBro, Mobile TV, etc.)
- Analog Front-ends for Ultra-Wide Band communications
- Video Analog Front-ends with full synchronism processing (CVBS, XVGA, RGB)
- Video DACs for encoders
- Auxiliary interfaces
- Touch-screen interfaces
Sigma-delta based data conversion solutions are available as well for such narrower bands and larger dynamic ranges systems as Audio and Cellular Wireless Communications.
About Nordic Semiconductor ASA
Nordic Semiconductor (formerly Nordic VLSI) is a Norwegian fabless semiconductor company focusing on delivering world-best wireless communication solutions in the license-free ISM bands. The company, which was originally founded in 1983 as a traditional ASIC design house, produces both standard products and custom SoCs. It also offers development services for other companies to access its world leading, in-house RF/mixed-signal design and advanced back-end/physical engineering expertise.
The company’s innovative range of wireless solutions includes:
- The nRF905TM single-chip multiband radio transceiver for the 433-, 868- or 915MHz ISM band;
- The nRF9E5TM low-cost, single-chip system with fully integrated RF transceiver for the 433-, 868- or 915MHz ISM band;
- The nRF2401ATM and nRF2402TM compact, lowest cost, lowest current consumption and low voltage supply 2.4GHz RF transceivers;
- The nRF24E1TM and nRF24E2TM low cost transceivers paired with the industry standard 8051 MCU core and leading peripherals to create the world’s first complete low cost SoCs for global 2.4GHz operation;
- The nRF24Z1TM single chip system for CD quality audio streaming of up to16 bit, 48 kHz audio;
- The nRF24AP1TM ultra-low power 2.4GHz transceiver for wireless communication with Dynastream Innovation’s production-proven low-power network protocol, ANT;
- The nRF24L01TM ultra-low cost and power 2.4GHz transceiver with MultiCeiver” technology supporting simultaneous communications with up to six wireless devices.
Nordic Semiconductor nRF24xx range of 2.4GHz-transceiver and transmitter devices are aimed at applications such as wireless audio (e.g. MP3 and portable CD player headphones and PC speakers), gamepads, keyboards/mice and intelligent sports equipment. The latest nRF24L01 family, for instance, is targeted at ultra-low cost and power applications such as wireless desktops and intelligent (e.g. wristwatch-based) sports equipment.
Nordic is also a member of the Wibree forum, and has contributed core expertise in ultra-low power RF design to the technology. Wibree is a short range RF communication technology featuring ultra-low power consumption, a lightweight protocol stack and simple integration with Bluetooth. Wibree ushers in the next generation of RF communications by opening up many new opportunities for wireless data links between suitably equipped mobile phones or personal computers (PCs) and coin cell battery-powered devices such as sports and health sensors. (See www.wibree.nordicsemi.no)
The custom/consulting services division derives its revenue from working with specific customers to integrate Nordic’s wireless solutions into customer ASICs. Nordic often then continues to manufacture the chip in the long-term for the customer.
Nordic’s products are all manufactured in ultra modern semiconductor process technologies through strong relationships with world-best manufacturing facilities. Sales are primarily made through a carefully selected worldwide distribution network. The company has offices in Trondheim and Oslo, Norway, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan, and is listed on the Norwegian Stock Exchange (OSX: NOD). All operations are managed according to the ISO 9001:2000-approved quality assurance system.