updated 10:48 am EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
Move aimed at competing with Qualcomm
Samsung has bought the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and location technology portfolio of chipmaker CSR, it was announced today. Reuters reported this morning that the South Korean smartphone maker had completed the deal, paying $310 million for CSR's portfolio. The move brings Samsung's capabilities more in line with those of chipmaker Qualcomm, one of Samsung's competitors in the mobile phone chip industry.
Samsung will add CSR's portfolio to its own smartphone and patent holdings. Additionally, Samsung is acquiring CSR's 310-member technology and handset team. The company will also invest $34.4 million in a 4.9 percent stake in CSR. The move, which grants Samsung royalty-free license of CSR's intellectual property for handsets and 21 US patents, effectively removes CSR from competition in the smartphone industry, where it has been struggling to remain competitive.
The addition of CSR's R&D capability is expected to strengthen Samsung's application platform and allow the company to manufacture mobile chips integrating processors and multiple connectivity technologies. Last month, the company also acquired Nanoradio, a Swedish Wi-Fi chipset company.
Absorbing Nanoradio and CSR's capabilities will allow Samsung to produce smartphone internals that feature all necessary connectivity equipment on a single chip. The company can then market these components to other manufacturers, as it already does with its memory components and display technology. Speaking on the acquisition, CSR's chief executive Joep van Beurden pointed to a "war" going on between semiconductor industry giants Qualcomm, Intel, and Samsung. Today's acquisition will give Samsung more ammunition in that war to achieve the top spot among complete chip solution providers.