Nvidia doubles down on mobile with Icera buy

Chipmaker today says it has acquired the baseband processor company for $367 million in cash. It hopes to close the deal in about 30 days.

Nvidia announced today that it has agreed to acquire baseband processor maker Icera for $367 million in cash, paving the way for it to become an even bigger force in the mobile market.

"This is a key step in Nvidia's plans to be a major player in the mobile computing revolution," Jen-Hsun Huang, President and CEO of Nvidia said today in a statement. "Adding Icera's technology to Tegra gives us an outstanding platform to support the industry's best phones and tablets."

Icera currently develops wireless baseband processors that allow mobile phones to connect to 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. According to Nvidia, Icera currently has 550 patents granted or pending around the world. Its wireless components are used on devices running on more than 50 carriers worldwide.

By acquiring Icera, Nvidia is helping to cement its position in the mobile space . Currently, its dual-core Tegra 2 processor is running on a slew of smartphones and tablets. With the help of Icera's technology, the company can now sell vendors on its connectivity options, as well, thus helping it deliver an even more compelling offering to original equipment manufacturers. As Nvidia points out, with Icera's help, it can effectively "double its revenue opportunity within each device."

More importantly, Nvidia's acquisition underscores the company's broadening focus. Gone are the days when Nvidia is only a graphics provider. Now, the firm seems committed to smartphones and tablets. And as its Icera acquisition has shown, it's willing to pay up for something it believes in.

Nvidia expects the Icera acquisition to close in 30 days. As of this writing, Nvidia shares are up $0.13 to $19.45 following news of the acquisition.

 

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