Sony acquires Altair to develop its LTE modem chip technology

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Sony has announced that it has acquired Altair Semiconductor for $212million. The acquisition is expected to complete in early February, 2016.

Israel-based Altair owns low power consumption, high performance modem chip technology and related software for LTE (Long Term Evolution), a 4G cellular standard for mobile devices. It also develops and sells products focused on LTE technology.

LTE is already widely used in data communication for mobile phones, and is also expected to play a pivotal role in the interconnection of the Internet of Things (IoT).

With the acquisition of Altair, Sony says it aims to not only expand Altair's existing business, but also to move forward with research on and development of sensing technologies. By combining Sony's sensing technologies - such as GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and image sensors - with Altair's modem chip technology, and by further evolving both, Sony looks to develop a range of cellular-connected, sensing component devices.

With the markets for wearable and IoT devices expected to continue to expand, Sony aims to deliver component devices that feature both sensing and communication capabilities, as well as LTE solutions that leverage the strengths of these component devices.