NVIDIA just announced on its website that it has acquired Icera — a maker of baseband processors — for a cool $367 million dollars. NVIDIA’s Phil Carmack explains the reason why the company felt it needed to buy Icera:
Icera’s baseband and RF technologies span 2G, 3G and 4G networks. Joining them with our Tegra mobile super chip will result in a powerful combination.Phil Carmack
Specifically, Icera has more than 550 patents related to mobile baseband technology and its chips are used by more than 50 carriers around the world. With this acquisition, NVIDIA will be able to build more integrated chips that pack both the application processor and the baseband processor, which will give them “the benefits of faster time-to-market, better integration and enhanced performance.”
The global market for baseband processors is worth $15 billion a year, and growing at a rapid pace. Obviously, NVIDIA wants a piece of that pie; and as long as they keep making mind-blowing fast chips, that’s all fine by us. Now, how about that Tegra 3, NVIDIA?