NVIDIA snaps up software baseband maker Icera

NVIDIA logoNVIDIA has acquired its own baseband technology in the form of UK-based Icera Semiconductor. NVIDIA announced on Monday that it agreed to buy the company outright for $367 million in cash. In an internal memo to NVIDIA employees, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang wrote that the acquisition will give NVIDIA the opportunity to offer "the two most important processors that make up a modern mobile computer."

The strategy isn't unlike Intel's in this same space. Last August, Intel acquired baseband maker Infineon. Combined with its Atom application processors, Intel can offer mobile device makers a complete platform for tablets, and with power savings from its 22nm process, perhaps one day it can do the same for mobile phones.

Another competitor that offers a complete platform of application and baseband processor is Qualcomm. The company's business has primarily been in baseband chips for cell phones, but the company has increasingly been getting its ARM-based Snapdragon SoCs into Android devices in the last couple years.

Unlike Qualcomm and Infineon, however, Icera specializes in software defined radios. Icera's silicon consists of optimized, low-power processors that can be changed to operate with different radio technologies by changing the software that runs on it. Effectively, a baseband processor using Icera's DXP processor tech could be configured to work with HSPA+ technology now, and updated to work with LTE networks at a later date. (This is not unlike software upgrades that carriers can make to their towers, enabling higher speeds via newer versions of standards like HSPA.)

NVIDIA has already largely bet its future on mobile processor technology, marrying its GPU know-how with ARM CPU cores for its Tegra line of processors. Beyond mobile devices, NVIDIA will also combine high-power ARM cores and its GPUs in Project Denver, aimed at power-efficient servers and highly parallel "supercomputers." The Icera acquisition is merely another step in NVIDIA's march away from desktop chipsets and discrete GPUs.

"Our immediate plans are to accelerate Icera’s entry into voice modems, followed by introduction of 4G/LTE modem," Huang noted in the memo he sent to NVIDIA employees. "Not only is this combination strategically powerful in the market, it will also drive growth for both Tegra processors and Icera modems."

While application and baseband processors are typically separate parts today, don't be surprised when Intel, Qualcomm, and NVIDIA start offering single-chip solutions within the next few years.

"Let’s go drive the mobile computing revolution and create the future together," Huang wrote.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: NVIDIA

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
 
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
 
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
 
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
 
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
 
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
 
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
 
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)