Sony acquiring Israeli semiconductor business

26 Jan 2016

Sony’s internet of things (IoT) pursuit continues with news of its plan to buy Altair Semiconductor, an Israeli chip maker, with a reported $212m purchase price in place.

Sony’s pursuit of Altair is set to be completed in early February, according to Reuters, with this the latest in a line of acquisitions by the Japanese tech giant.

Last October, it snapped up SoftKinetic, a maker of sensors for 3D computing, with depth cameras and gesture tracking software among its armoury.

Only a month ago, Sony agreed to buy Toshiba’s sensor business for $155m, with its Sony Semiconductor Corporation subsidiary something to keep an eye on.

Sony’s VR operation is currently up against the likes of Oculus and HTC, with the nascent industry set to explode when more devices hit the market. This area, too, could be affected by IoT moves by the company.

Altair’s technology relates to 4G phones and LTE software and suggestions are already circulating that a combination of these two acquisitions could result in “cellular-connected, sensing devices”.

Altair is a 10-year-old company that claims to ship millions of LTE chips around the world, having recently expanded its R&D operations into Taiwan.

Microchip image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic