Nordic acquires Imagination Wi-Fi assets and design expertise

Nordic acquires Imagination Wi-Fi assets and design expertise

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Nordic Semiconductor is expanding its in-house wireless technology expertise into Wi-Fi after acquiring the entire Imagination Technologies Ensigma Wi-Fi development team and associated Ensigma Wi-Fi IP tech assets from world-leading graphics, vision, and AI processing company, Imagination Technologies.

According to Nordic, Wi-Fi has long been the “number one” missing capability requested by its customers and this was the perfect opportunity to merge into its global organization a world-class Wi-Fi development team with a proven track record of delivering state-of-the-art Wi-Fi. It also means Nordic will be one of the few companies to offer all three of the world’s most popular wireless IoT technologies: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular IoT (both LTE-M and NB-IoT versions).

The acquisition includes a sizeable number of Imagination Technologies employees located in the U.K, Sweden, India, and Taiwan. Of these, around 15 percent are Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) specialists who will now further strengthen Nordic’s existing Bluetooth LE teams as well.

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“As the global leader in short range Bluetooth wireless technology and the emerging leader in long-range cellular wireless IoT, there has long been a gap in between which our customers have been asking us to fill. And although it won’t happen overnight as this is an IP acquisition rather than one that comes with Wi-Fi devices ready to sell, we will now be able to add Wi-Fi functionality to future generations of Nordic products,” comments Nordic CTO, Svein-Egil Nielsen.

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“We plan to become an active member of the Wi-Fi Alliance and work with them, as we have and continue to do with multiple other major standards organizations and bodies, to maximize Wi-Fi’s low power wireless application potential using our decades of ultra-low power wireless expertise,” adds Nordic Director of Product Management, Kjetil Holstad.

“While it is too early to comment in any detail on specific product implications of this acquisition, I can say that we intend to create a development platform and environment that unifies all our wireless technologies. One that will bring all the benefits our customers have come to expect from Nordic in terms of lowering technological barriers to entry, removing unnecessary design complexity, and making it very easy for Nordic customers to add high quality, low power Wi-Fi functionality and features to their Nordic-based products and applications.”

“Although Wi-Fi was born in the consumer sector, it is now rapidly gaining traction within the industrial IoT space,” states Imagination Technologies CEO, Simon Beresford-Wylie. “With Imagination’s strong focus on graphics, vision, and AI processing, we feel our Wi-Fi IP division will thrive much better long-term within a company that has wireless connectivity at its center and where it will become a major focus of strategic, technological, and commercial innovation and growth.”

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