Nvidia buying Icera for 3G/4G baseband processor expertise

Nvidia announced plans to acquire baseband processor vendor Icera for $367 million in cash, giving the company a bigger piece of the mobile computing market and Icera much more visibility in the 3G/4G baseband processor market.

With the acquisition, Nvidia aims to strengthen its mobile device silicon business by integrating Icera's baseband/RF chipsets with its applications processors under a single platform. "By offering the two main processors used in smartphones (the application processor and baseband processor), the combined company will help OEM customers both improve their time to market and deliver the requirements of next-generation mobile computing. Nvidia will also have approximately doubled its revenue opportunity within each device," the company said in a release.

Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts, told FierceBroadbandWireless that Icera is one of the few players with an HSPA+/LTE baseband that is ready to come to market. "Most of what we are seeing is LTE only at this point," he said. Today, devices with both LTE and a 3G technology such as CDMA EV-DO require two separate basebands.

Icera has said its multimode LTE technology adds no additional cost to silicon because it delivers the solution via software, but Strauss said the tiny company has had difficulty gaining traction with tier 1 device makers.

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
Icera demos LTE/HSPA modem running on existing hardware
Nvidia highlights Tegra 2, vows to lead 'superphone' category
Rumor Mill: Samsung, Nvidia hook up for major Tegra chip purchase