Information Technology

Silicon Labs Buys Bluegiga to Broaden IoT Wireless

05 February 2015

Mixed-signal fabless chip company Silicon Laboratories Inc. has bought Bluegiga Technologies Oy, a privately held specialist in short-range radio chips based in Espoo, Finland.

The acquisition is similar that of RadioPulse by Ixys, announced recently, in that it adds short range wireless development skills and ICs to a company versed in mixed-signal and microcontroller development. Both are part of a wave of consolidation being driven by expectations of the market of chips for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Bluegiga was founded in 2000 and is a developer of chips and software for Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi modules as well as protocol stacks, development tools and software development kits. These applications range across industrial automation, consumer electronics, audio, automotive, retail, residential, and health and fitness markets.

Silicon Labs (Austin, Texas), a vendor of microcontroller, wireless connectivity, analog and sensor technology, has a paid Bluegiga investors approximately $61 million in cash. The purchase was funded from Silicon Labs' resources and required no borrowing. Bluegiga is expected to contribute approximately $25 million to $28 million in revenue to Silicon Labs' total revenue in 2015.

The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities from Bluegiga complement Silicon Labs own 802.15.4 ZigBee and Thread mesh networking software and wireless MCU and transceiver product offerings, Silicon Labs said. Following the acquisition Silicon Labs will make Espoo a center of excellence for wireless hardware and software.

"With Silicon Labs’ wireless, microcontroller and sensor portfolios gaining considerable traction in the IoT markets, the timing of this acquisition couldn’t be better," said Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs, in a statement. "Bluegiga’s wireless modules and software stacks round out our wireless portfolio and complement our IoT solutions."

In the same statement Riku Mettala, vice president of product creation at Bluegiga, said: "Together, our wireless development teams will drive innovation in the IoT market, and our unified solutions will give customers a rich choice of wireless platforms for connected devices."

Silicon Labs announced financial results for the fourth quarter 2014 and full year 2014. In the fourth quarter the company made a net profit of $10.0 million on revenues of $162.0 million. For the full year the company made a net profit of $38.0 million on revenues of $620.7 million. Full year sales were up 7.0 percent compared with the previous year.

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Related links and articles:

IHS connectivity and IoT research

News articles:

Ixys Acquisition Adds ZigBee to IoT Mix

Chinese IoT Firm Makes Wireless-MCUs Around Xtensa

Sub-Threshold Microcontrollers Arrive, Cut Power

Silicon Labs, MaxLinear Settle Patent Suits

Sansa Security Joins Thread IoT Consortium

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