Rockwell buys wireless chip unit

Rockwell plans to acquire the wireless semiconductor products group from Cirrus Logic subsidiary PCSI for $18.1 million.

CNET News staff
Rockwell International (ROK) today announced it plans to acquire the wireless semiconductor products group from a Cirrus Logic subsidiary for $18.1 million.

The cash deal marks the second time in a month that Cirrus's wholly owned subsidiary Pacific Communications Sciences announced plans to shed one of its three original business units.

PCSI last month announced a $23 million cash deal to sell its wireless infrastructure unit to ADC Telecommunications. That deal closed yesterday.

The divestitures are part of Cirrus's plans to sell businesses that aren't related to its core operations, which involve making chips for hard disks and CD-ROM drives, multimedia, and communications. Cirrus has been selling off portions of its business since the summer and initiated a 13 percent cut in its work force in March after sales softened.

PCSI, following the close of the Rockwell deal, will be left with one business unit, focusing on handheld phones.

Rockwell wants the semiconductor unit to accelerate and broaden its market penetration and product development in the wireless communications business, according to Dwight Decker, president of Rockwell Semiconductor Systems. The company's strategy is to provide antenna-to-microphone chipset solutions.

PCSI's wireless semiconductor unit is a supplier for Japan's digital cordless Personal Handy Phone System.

The deal is expected to close in late January, pending regulatory approval. The PCSI wireless semiconductor products group will then be part of Rockwell's wireless communications division.