Microchip's billion dollar deals net German startup
May 03, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
US microcontroller vendor Microchip has been on a billion dollar buying spree with the recent acquisition of three companies, including a German startup, that gives it several European design centres.
Alongside the billion dollar acquisition of SMSC, Microchip has bought Ident Technology in Gilching, Germany, which is developing 3-D gesture recognition technology based on electric field sensing.
Last September Robert Bosch Venture Capital led an investment round of $10m in Ident. "This acquisition builds upon Microchip's strengths in proximity, touch sense and touch screen controller solutions for the embedded market," said the company.
The agreed deal to buy networking chip designer Standard Microsystems Corp (SMSC) represents a total value of about $939 million and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. SMSC has design centers in Karlsruhe and Pforzheim, Germany and Sofia in Bulgaria after buying design companies KL2, Tallika Technologies and Wireless Audio IP in Belgium. SMSC has a strong position in automotive and consumer networking chips
"We believe SMSC's smart mixed-signal connectivity solutions aimed at embedded applications are an ideal complement to Microchip's embedded control business," said Steve Sanghi, Microchip's President and CEO. "This acquisition will expand Microchip's range of solutions as SMSC contributes exciting new products and capabilities in the automotive, industrial, computing, consumer and wireless audio markets, significantly extending our served available market."
The deal comes after Microchip also bought US start-up Roving Networks in Los Gatos, California to add WiFi and Bluetooth technology to its portfolio of 8, 16 and 32bit microcontrollers
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