Nordic Semiconductor announced on November 30 that the company has acquired the Ensigma Wi-Fi R&D team of Imagination Technologies and related Ensigma Wi-Fi IP tech assets. Through this acquisition, Nordic extends its in-house wireless technology expertise to Wi-Fi.
The acquisition includes a sizeable number of Imagination Technologies employees located in the U.K, Sweden, India, and Taiwan. Of these, around 15 percent are Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) specialists who will now further strengthen Nordic’s existing Bluetooth LE teams as well.
“This is a dream come true for Nordic Semiconductor and its customers, particularly in the smart home market,” comments Nordic CTO, Svein-Egil Nielsen. “As the global leader in short range Bluetooth wireless technology and the emerging leader in long-range cellular wireless IoT, there has long been a gap in between which our customers have been asking us to fill. And although it won’t happen overnight as this is an IP acquisition rather than one that comes with Wi-Fi devices ready to sell, we will now be able to add Wi-Fi functionality to future generations of Nordic products.
“We at Nordic feel extremely fortunate and excited to have found the perfect Wi-Fi team with decades of state-of-the-art Wi-Fi design experience and expertise from whom we can learn all there is to know about Wi-Fi wireless technology. We believe in owning every link in our product chain, and with the Imagination Wi-Fi team on-board we will now be able to add Wi-Fi hardware and software developed by Nordic from the ground up, as we do with all our other wireless product ranges.”
“What’s just as exciting is the potential synergy between Nordic Semiconductor’s low power wireless heritage and the latest low power evolution of Wi-Fi that now allows battery-powered IoT devices,” adds Nordic Director of Product Management, Kjetil Holstad. “We plan to become an active member of the Wi-Fi Alliance and work with them, as we have and continue to do with multiple other major standards organizations and bodies, to maximize Wi-Fi’s low power wireless application potential using our decades of ultra-low power wireless expertise.
“While it is too early to comment in any detail on specific product implications of this acquisition, I can say that we intend to create a development platform and environment that unifies all our wireless technologies. One that will bring all the benefits our customers have come to expect from Nordic in terms of lowering technological barriers to entry, removing unnecessary design complexity, and making it very easy for Nordic customers to add high quality, low power Wi-Fi functionality and features to their Nordic-based products and applications.”
“I am very pleased with the competencies that the Wi-Fi team following this acquisition now bring to Nordic’s wireless IoT capability range,” adds Nordic CEO, Svenn-Tore Larsen. “We now plan to rapidly engage with Nordic’s new employees. And I would like to personally reassure each and every one of them that Nordic is one of the best semiconductor companies in the world to work for, has long successfully operated via a large number of global locations, and that we fully intend to make these new employees feel warmly welcome and become an integrated part of our day-to-day operations and people culture.”
“Although Wi-Fi was born in the consumer sector, it is now rapidly gaining traction within the industrial IoT space,” states Imagination Technologies CEO, Simon Beresford-Wylie. “With Imagination’s strong focus on graphics, vision, and AI processing, we feel our Wi-Fi IP division will thrive much better long-term within a company that has wireless connectivity at its center and where it will become a major focus of strategic, technological, and commercial innovation and growth. I am extremely happy to have found such a good home for the technology and the team at Nordic Semiconductor: It’s a perfect match.”