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Sony to Spend $212 Million on Altair Semiconductor Purchase

January 26, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Sony is one hell of a consumer electronics firm, and whether or not you’re a fan of their products, they’ve been pushing the envelope for decades now. Things haven’t gone quite so well for them over the past five years or more, but the firm is enjoying success in areas you perhaps wouldn’t expect them to. Their South Korean rivals, Samsung, enjoys success in many of the same areas that Sony do, and the two trade blows, but in the smartphone market it’s clear which one of them enjoys more success. While Sony isn’t doing so well in the mobile market in terms of smartphone sales and market share, the firm has resolved to remain a key part of the industry, selling camera components to the majority of manufacturers out there. Their latest acquisition should definitely help them bring in revenue from selling components, too.

As Reuters is reporting, Sony is set to purchase Altair Semiconductor for a cool $212 Million. Rather than your traditional processor firm, Altair was founded back in 2005 by ex-Texas Instruments execs and specializes in chips for wireless, such as 4G LTE chipsets. Despite being based in Israel, the firm was instrumental in the creation of the Japanese XGP standards for 4G networks and even WiMax solutions. Sony expects to close the deal before the end of February, and right now it’s unclear what Sony hopes to do with the firm.

This announcement follows the deal that Sony and Toshiba had made before the end of 2015 for the former to buy the latter’s imaging business for roughly $155 Billion. Camera sensors and hardware is where Sony makes a good portion of their money in the mobile world, so getting involved in communication chipsets via Altair might not be a bad idea, but just what they hope to accomplish is unclear. Altair is far from a top-tier manufacturer like Qualcomm or even MediaTek, but judging from the relatively small amounts Sony is spending on these two acquisitions it seems Sony is just looking to expand their portfolio. Building up a good foundation of talent and networks from these purchases could set Sony up for the next few years where selling components and hardware solutions are concerned.