Nvidia To Acquire Baseband Chip Maker Icera For $367 Million


Nvidia announced Monday that it plans to acquire Icera, a baseband processor maker, to further the graphics company's efforts to diversify its products and capitalize on the growing mobile device market.

The acquisition, which was been approved by both companies' boards, is an all-cash deal worth $367 million. Nvidia said it expects the deal to be completed within 30 days.

Icera specializes in wireless baseband processors for mobile devices to connect to 3G and 4G wireless networks. The company, based in Bristol, U.K., has more than 550 patents granted or pending, and its wireless modem components have been approved by more than 50 carriers worldwide, according to Nvidia.

The addition of Icera helps Nvidia strengthen its charge into the mobile device space. Nvidia has long been a leader in GPU technology, such as high-end graphics cards for PC gaming and video applications. But the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has branched out into new areas lately, including the mobile processor space with its ARM-based Tegra processors for tablets and smartphones.

With Icera, Nvidia can now offer chips that power both the device's applications and operating system as well as the device's wireless connectivity capabilities. Nvidia said it will continue to work with its existing baseband partners and "respect its customers' preferences" in combining Nvidia processors with baseband processors.

"This is a key step in Nvidia's plans to be a major player in the mobile computing revolution," said Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's president and CEO, in a
statement. "Adding Icera's technology to Tegra gives us an outstanding platform to support the industry's best phones and tablets."