Analog and mixed-signal chip company Semtech Corp. (Camarillo, Calif.) has announced it has acquired the assets and business of EnVerv Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), a privately held supplier of power line communications (PLC) and smart grid technology. In conjunction with the asset acquisition, the EnVerv team of employees has joined Semtech. Semtech said EnVerv's PLC technology would be complementary to its own long-range wireless communications technology LoRa.
PLC can be used for in-building distribution where wireless communications may have problems connecting. LoRa is the focus of a recently announced industry consortium that includes IBM and Cisco Systems (see IBM, Cisco Back Semtech's LoRa Radio for IoT).
Semtech did not disclose how much it has paid but EnVerv, founded in 2009, appeared to be a successful startup. EnVerv gained backing from Cisco Systems and United Microelectronics Corp. as well as venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates, Walden International Benchmark in a $15.4 million series C round of finance in March 2014 (see Cisco Backs Smart-Grid Modem Startup). That brought the money raised by EnVerv to more than $33 million.
EnVerv had developed multiple chipsets for low- and medium-voltage PLC for smart grid, monitoring and metering infrastructure. It has particular interest in supporting multiple PLC modem standards including G3-PLC, PRIME, S-FSK and its proprietary TurboPLC.
PLC via low and medium-voltage power lines provides a means for utility providers to implement smart metering and telecommunications service providers to implement home gateways. By putting EnVerv's PLC together with LoRa Semtech will be able to deliver a single platform that provides close to 100 percent network coverage for machine-to-machine and Internet of Things markets, Semtech said.
"PLC technology is highly complementary to our current wireless LoRa solutions and expands Semtech's available market beyond the industrial wireless segment into the industrial PLC market and the residential gateway market. We believe that the smart home and the smart grid are still in their early stages of global development, and having both PLC and wireless technologies positions us well to take advantage of both segments," said Mohan Maheswaran, CEO of Semtech, in a statement.
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