Nordic Semiconductor buys its memory supplier

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Leading European chip designer Nordic Semiconductor is to buy Mobile Semiconductor, a privately-held US company specializing in highly optimized embedded memory technology for microcontrollers (MCUs) and Systems-on-Chip (SoCs).

Mobile supplies the embedded SRAM technology for Nordic’s chips, including the nRF52 and nRF53 Series SoCs and nRF91 Series System-in-Package (SiP) devices. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

“We are very excited to bring on-board this world class team, recognized as an industry leader in optimized, low voltage embedded SRAM designs,” said Svein-Egil Nielsen, CTO and EVP of R&D and Strategy at Nordic, based in Oslo, Norway.

“[This is] a team we know intimately from years of working together and in terms of the technology, Mobile Semiconductor’s SRAM has been a key differentiator in our Bluetooth and cellular IoT product ranges. As such, when the opportunity to bring this critical expertise in-house arose, it was a no-brainer to proceed and make this latest acquisition,” he said.

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“Ultra-low power operation is a vital sustainability requirement in IoT,” said Kjetil Holstad, Nordic’s EVP of Product Management. “And critical for enabling what Nordic’s wireless IoT silicon is so good at underpinning: portable and remote IoT applications that are only made environmentally and commercially viable if they can run for years and years on small batteries.”

“As IoT applications continue to become ever more capable and high performance, memory has become an increasingly vital ingredient of the ultra-low power mix,” said Holstad. “Nordic has relied on Mobile Semiconductor’s embedded SRAM technology for many years to achieve this. Bringing that expertise in-house will position us extremely well when it comes to developing highly optimized future products. These products will continue to maintain Nordic’s industry-leading ultra-low power-performance ratios.”

“As the technology becomes more advanced, customers benefit from the resources larger companies have to continuously invest in R&D,” said Cameron Fisher, CEO at Mobile Semiconductor. “We believe Mobile Semiconductor has grown as far as it can as a private company and now needs a company like Nordic Semiconductor to take our memory architectures to the next level. Nordic Semiconductor’s leadership in providing low power and low leakage devices is the perfect match for Mobile Semiconductor and this acquisition extends our technology’s reach.”

The acquisition is expected to close during Q3 2022 pending US government approval.;

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