The Japanese electronics giants in a statement said: “Sony is announcing that it has reached an agreement with Altair Semiconductor (“Altair”) and its major shareholders to acquire the company. The purchase price is 212 million US dollars (approximately 25 billion yen), and Sony expects to complete the acquisition in early February, 2016.
The news, which was first revealed by Globes, put the acquisition price at $212 million.
Altair, in a statement made available to Globes, is a company that owns modern chip technology and other related software for Long Term Evolution. The company’s chips are known for their low power, consumption; which would have also influenced Sony’s decision to stump out $212 million to acquire it.
“Altair, an Israel-based company, owns modem chip technology and related software for LTE (Long Term Evolution), a 4G cellular standard for mobile devices. Altair develops and sells products focused on LTE technology, and its modem chips stand out for their low power consumption, high performance and competitive cost.
Explaining further, the statement also provided an insight into LTE’s potentials even as the world continues to equip the cellular with chipsets.
“LTE is already widely used in data communication for mobile phones, and is also expected to play a pivotal role in the interconnection of the Internet of Things (“IoT”). Going forward, more and more “things” are expected to be equipped with cellular chipsets, realizing a connected environment in which “things” can reliably and securely access network services that leverage the power of cloud computing.
Highlighting the importance of the acquisition, Sony explained that it hopes to not only expand Altair’s existing business, but to incorporate more research on the development of new “sensing technologies.”
“With the acquisition of Altair, Sony aims to not only expand Altair’s existing business, but also to move forward with research on and development of new sensing technologies. By combining Sony’s sensing technologies – such as GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and image sensors – with Altair’s high-performance, low power consumption and cost-competitive modem chip technology, and by further evolving both, Sony will strive to develop a new breed of cellular-connected, sensing component devices.
By acquiring Altair, Sony is also positioning itself in the ever expanding markets for wearable and IoT devices.
“With the markets for wearable and IoT devices expected to continue to expand, Sony aims to deliver component devices that feature both sensing and communication capabilities, as well as new LTE solutions that leverage the strengths of these component devices.”
Altair was founded by former Texas Instruments executives CEO Oded Melamed, CTO Yigal Bitran and VP Marketing Eran Eshed in 2005, and is based in Hod Hasharon. The company has been able to raise $135 million to date, and currently boasts of 200 employees, most of whom are from Israel. Each of the founders of Altair holds a 0.5% stake in the company and will earn $1 million.
Before the acquisition, Sony and Altair have been partners for many years, with the later as a chip supplier.