Samsung Buy UK Mobile Brains, “Big War” Looms

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Tech giant buys Cambridge mobile brains, as smartphone race heats up.

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Described as a “world leader in wireless technology,” the $310m purchase of CSR will differentiate its massive mobile-chip business and “strengthen its application-processor platform,” a Samsung senior exec said today.

Wireless technology guru, CSR, offers a vast technology portfolio which includes: Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart; Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and GPS location products; FM radio; Wi-Fi; Near-Field Communication (NFC).

It also makes multi-function semiconductor platforms for cameras, wireless voice and music markets, and chips for handsets and other devices.

The purchase gives the smartphone leader full access to CSR’s mobile connectivity and location technology as well as relevant patents, handy as its patents war with Apple intensifies.

Tech giant Samsung make their own mobile chips for their smartphones and tablets and supply them to others including Apple.

And this latest purchase may give it an edge over chip rivals like Qualcomm, ARM and Nvidia, as it looks to advance its technology. Mobile location technology is big news in smartphones at present with location based services on the up. 

The Korean company is also buying $34 million worth of shares in Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) as a good-will gesture.

“By leveraging CSR’s research and development capability, Samsung will strengthen its application-processor platform,” Stephen Woo, head of Samsung non-memory division, said.

This is the second deal Samsung has made this week, it also cut a deal with DTS which help consumers become “more emotionally affected by the content they see” on Smart TVs and purchased cloud-based data storage mSpot in May.

And even CSR’s head anticipates a massive chips war:

 

“There is a big war going on between the giants of the semiconductor industry like Qualcomm Inc, Intel and Samsung LSI to deliver the complete solution into smartphones,” CSR’s chief executive Joep van Beurden said in an interview.

“Our team and technology – location and connectivity – is in its own right an extremely important part of that platform, but it is even more important if it completes your product offering and that is exactly what Samsung is doing.”

300 CSR workers will now be employed by Samsung. The deal is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter this year. 

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