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Samsung swoops on Brit chip biz CSR, grabs talents'n'patents

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A British chip-design company has sold its mobile and GPS location-finding tech wing to Samsung for $310 million (£198m).

Cambridge-based biz CSR sealed the deal today, according to a regulatory notice from the London Stock Exchange. It will shift 310 employees, and an attractive sheaf of patents, over to the South Korean electronics giant.

The acquisition will give Samsung 21 US patents and a perpetual licence on CSR's handset connectivity technology.

CSR will cease to work on mobile connectivity and location technology, but will sell its existing products and funnel the extra cash into accelerating research into five other areas: voice and music; in-car entertainment and information; indoor location finding; imaging; and Bluetooth gubbins.

CSR is a fabless operation: its customers buy the rights to use the chip blueprints and do the actual manufacturing. The company largely designs the electronics for wireless communications, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Since merging with Californian company Zoran in February, it cooks up video processors too.

Samsung is putting an extra $34.4m into CSR (formerly Cambridge Silicon Radio) by buying up 4.9 per cent share. The chip designer's shareholders are promised $285m of the cash. The deal is to be completed by the end of the year.

In the past twelve months, CSR banked revenues of £908m and a net profit of £21.8m. The company's ongoing headcount will be 2,120. ®

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