NVIDIA delves deeper into the mobile chip game by acquiring Icera

NVIDIA is still one of the top makers of graphics cards for desktop computers, but the company has gained a lot of traction in the mobile space with its NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset which combines a low power ARM-based processor with high performance graphics. Motorola, Acer, Asus, LG, and Samsung have all developed tablets using Tegra 2 chips, and a number of companies have also brought Tegra-powered smartphones to market.

Now NVIDIA is taking another big step into the mobile space with the $367 million acquisition of Icera, a company that designs baseband processors for 3G and 4G phones and tablets.

Icera isn’t exactly a household name, but the company has over 550 patents and technology that’s used by more than 50 wireless carriers. The acquisition means NVIDIA will be able to offer application processors and baseband processors to tablet and phone makers.

  • MonkeyKing1969

    Less then $400 million for a company with that many patents in the 3G/4G space? That seem like a deal, expect that the true worth of the company is in the ‘hustle’.

    You either get signed contacts with companies who would rather not deal with you at all or send out legal threats to the same companies. No one will stand on the stage arm-in-arm with you saying, “I want to thank our friends at Nvida.”

    • aftermath

      This seems like the correct interpretation. It’s pretty easy to license technology, but considering all of the patent-trolling and outright legal assaults that are going on in the handheld mobile computing space right now, it looks like NVIDIA is headed to courts with these newly acquired technologies rather than to market. It’s probably not a good sign of NVIDIA’s business health either. This isn’t exactly the most viable revenue stream.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.e.cameron Earl Cameron

    550 patents could fend off motorola and apple (for cell radios!?)

  • Anonymous

    Good move by Nvidia