Atmel buys more IoT capability

Slings $US140 at Newport Media for wireless SOCs

Suitcase bulging with cash

Atmel, best known as a maker of microcontrollers and capacitive touchscreens, is expanding its Internet of Things footprint with the acquisition of low-power wireless chip designer Newport Media.

Newport Media started out life shipping TV system-on-a-chip (SOC) devices, and during 2012 and 2013 branched out into 802.11n, 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 devices, targeting small end-user kit that would get a smaller bill of materials by handling multiple wireless comms media in a single chip.

Atmel, whose markets include the Arduino single-board-computer, has been pushing into the Internet of Things market, and in June, announced a range of ARM-based microcontrollers called SMART that combined low-power 32 bit ARM with WiFi under the SmartConnect brand.

The company says it will fork out $US140 million for Newport Media, in a transaction due to complete in the third quarter of 2014.

According to Bloomberg, that price could rise by as much as $US30 million if “certain revenue goals are met”.

Bloomberg notes that the acquisition adds to a semiconductor buying spree that's been worth more than $US11 billion industry-wide this year.

Newport Media had $US43 million in revenue in 2013. ®

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