Thursday, September 29, 2011

Atmel to Acquire ADD Semiconductor

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Advanced Digital Design, S.A. ("ADD Semiconductor"), a privately held company based in Zaragoza, Spain that develops power line communication solutions. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in October. Atmel does not expect the acquisition to have a material impact on its overall financial position and results of operations in 2011.

ADD Semiconductor, a founding member of the PRIME Alliance, specializes in the design of system-on-chip solutions that allow for narrow-band data communication across existing electric power lines. In addition to successfully supporting a number of advanced meter infrastructure ("AMI") pilots in Europe, ADD Semiconductor products are also targeted towards the lighting, building automation and solar infrastructure markets.

With ADD Semiconductor, Atmel will acquire a portfolio of innovative products and a team of technical experts focused on signal processing and power line communications. This acquisition complements Atmel's existing smart energy product portfolio, better positioning the company for continued success in the growing smart meter, energy management, home and building automation markets.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Entropic invests $10M in Zenverge

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Entropic Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:ENTR), a leading provider of silicon and software solutions to enable connected home entertainment and Zenverge, Inc., a leading developer of advanced media integrated circuits (ICs) for the connected home, today announced a strategic partnership to co-develop solutions and align product roadmaps for the delivery of content with powerful transcoding technology over a MoCA® 2.0 (Multimedia over Coax) home network. In addition, Entropic has made an investment in Zenverge totaling 10 million dollars (USD).

Service providers are seeking cost-effective ways to broaden delivery of video content beyond TVs, to portable display devices like tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Building on the partnership between the two companies announced earlier this year, a combined Entropic-Zenverge solution will enable service providers to leverage their investment in MoCA networks and the paradigm shift to IP content, to significantly expand the number and types of display devices on which their subscribers can consume content, while maintaining superior quality, security and market leading MoCA home network connectivity. With faster than real-time high definition (HD) transcoding from Zenverge and unsurpassed MoCA 2.0 performance from Entropic, pay-TV, over-the-top or personal video content can be streamed from a DVR, a network attached storage (NAS) device, or a personal computer (PC) and converted to a format most suitable for viewing on tablets, smartphones, or laptops. This content can either be watched immediately in a connected mode, or later from content stored locally.

The product roadmap alignment between the companies integrates the following features and attributes of each company to ensure a superb, seamless content viewing experience throughout the home and on any device:
  • Zenverge's Entertainment Nexus (ZEN) advanced architecture for HD media processing. This powerful architecture results in a high-performance, low-latency, lower power digital media processor capable of transcoding HD content up to four-times faster than real-time, and up to 30-times faster for lower-resolution content. In addition, the Zenverge media processor can simultaneously transcode up to four independent HD streams, or up to 16 independent standard definition (SD) streams, along with supporting full encode of HD content.
  • Entropic's MoCA 2.0 home networking silicon. Entropic brings proven speed and performance with its MoCA silicon and software. Enabling the most robust, predictable and powerful home networking backbone to reliably distribute bandwidth-intensive content throughout the home. With MoCA 1.1 already deployed as the de-facto connected home entertainment standard in the U.S., MoCA 2.0's higher throughput and backward interoperability is perfectly suited to intersect pay-TV provider next generation products and services.
"We're at a critical path in both our development and what the consumer market desires in their home entertainment interests," said Amir Mobini, chief executive officer, Zenverge. "By aligning our paths with Entropic, and maximizing the opportunity their MoCA 2.0 technology brings to the table, we will remain on target to deliver the most groundbreaking new architecture for digital HD convergence — that takes transcoding of digital media entertainment to unsurpassed levels of consumer and operator ease."

"This partnership crystallizes our connected home entertainment strategy and positions us to offer even greater value to our customers, our partners and ultimately the consumer," said Patrick Henry, president and chief executive officer, Entropic. "In addition to the clear strategic benefits of combining two highly complementary silicon products, we believe we can create substantial shareholder value by capitalizing on the consumer demand to have their video content delivered anywhere, anytime and to any device, in the home or on the go."

About Zenverge

Founded in 2005, Zenverge is a fabless semiconductor company devoted to accelerating consumer access to next generation digital content and services. The company is a leading developer of Advanced Media ICs built around the patented ZEN architecture, a core technology for next generation digital media devices. The company is based in Cupertino, California. For more information please visit the company website: www.zenverge.com.

About Entropic Communications

Entropic Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:ENTR) is a leading fabless semiconductor company that is engineering the future of connected home networking and entertainment by providing next-generation silicon and software technologies to the world's leading cable, telco and satellite service providers, OEMs and consumer electronics manufacturers. As a co-founder of MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance), Entropic pioneered and continues to evolve the way high-definition television-quality video and other multimedia and digital content such as movies, music, games and photos are brought into and delivered throughout the home. For more information, visit Entropicat www.entropic.com.

Quantance raises a $11M Series C

As reported by Dan Primak in his morning Term Sheet report: Quantance Inc., a San Mateo, Calif.-based maker of a power supply for 4G mobile devices, has raised $11 million in Series C funding. Backers include TD Fund, Granite Ventures, InterWest Partners and DoCoMo Capital. www.quantance.com

Thursday, September 15, 2011

GCT Files S-1 Initial Public Offering

The SEC S-1 and associated documents may be found here.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GCT® Semiconductor, Inc. (GCT) a leading fabless designer and supplier of advanced 4G mobile semiconductor solutions, today announced that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and BofA Merrill Lynch are acting as book-running managers for the offering. Cowen and Company, LLC and Oppenheimer & Co, Inc. are acting as co-managers for the offering.

When available, a copy of the preliminary prospectus may be obtained from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282, telephone: 1-866-471-2526, facsimile: 212-902-9316 or by emailing prospectus-ny@ny.email.gs.com or from BofA Merrill Lynch, 4 World Financial Center, New York, NY 10080, Attn: Prospectus Department or by emailing dg.prospectus_requests@baml.com.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.

About GCT Semiconductor, Inc.

GCT Semiconductor is a leading fabless designer and supplier of advanced 4G mobile solutions. GCT’s products are system-on-a-chip solutions that integrate radio frequency, baseband modem and digital signal processing functions onto a single die for the 4G LTE and WiMAX markets. GCT was the first to commercialize single-chip solutions for LTE and WiMAX and believes it is currently the only company selling fully-commercialized single-chip LTE solutions. GCT’s proprietary technology and system-level expertise enable us to provide complete 4G platform solutions, which are differentiated by their small form factors, low power consumption, high performance, high reliability and cost effectiveness.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Accent pivots business model to smart grid

Milan, Italy, September 6, 2011 - Accent, a world leading semiconductor supplier of communications and metering technologies, announced today its second-generation ASMgrid™ standard product family targeted at the demanding performance needs required by Smart Meters. ASMgrid2™incorporates optimized flexibility to support and track next-generation home-area-network (HAN) and near-area-network (NAN) communication standards including IEEE 802.15.4g, G3, PRIME, IEEE 1901.2, home area networking with IEEE 802.15.4. The ASSPs feature breakthrough system capability to address the demanding performance, cost, and scalability needs of Smart Grid equipment manufacturers.

While Smart Grid trials and deployments are in full force in many parts of the world, solution providers are still defining more advanced communication standards and product features which would be required in electric meters. Unfortunately, silicon solutions available today fall short in either providing support for newer technologies or doing so in a cost effective and scalable manner. The ASMgrid2 product family reconciles these competing forces through market leading silicon integration and technology innovation at the architectural and design level.

To provide complete advanced smart meter solutions, the ASMgrid2 system-on-chip architecture encompasses a broad range of technologies including high-precision analog-front-ends, RF transceivers, non-volatile memories, and processing capabilities needed to run required protocol stacks and vendor application software. Each one of the three devices in the ASMgrid2 product family contains an ARM® processor for unmatched performance, code density, and development capability. In addition to other processing, the ARM processors are also used in combination with hardware acceleration for Accent’s SUNFXTM modems, providing adaptable solutions for still evolving utility communication standards.

"We're delighted Accent is adopting Cortex-M and ARM9 series processors as key technology elements in what is certain to be a significant enabler for the smart grid industry," said Eric Schorn, VP Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. "The ARM architecture provides an ideal low-power processing solution to meet the sensitive performance and cost needs of smart meters that are expected to operate for periods up to 20 years on a single battery."

“The ASMgrid2 ASSP family represents industry-first solutions in terms of technology, integration and feature set specifically designed to optimally address advanced Smart Meters, by offering compelling solutions to equipment manufacturers seeking to support the latest and future meter communication technologies with built-in system scalability plus rich feature set to address their long product life cycles”, said Federico Arcelli, CEO of Accent.

ASM201 – SYSTEM-ON-CHIP FOR SMART HOME, COMMUNICATION, AND APPLICATION PROCESSING

To satisfy the increased processing and every expanding memory needs required in smart metering, Accent offers the ASM201. The device’s unprecedented integration replaces as many as five ICs for unparalleled system capability and significant cost reduction compared to alternative solutions. In addition to Accent’s AEMET™ energy measurement as well as IEEE 2.4 GHz radio solution, the ASM201 incorporates ample performance capability for a complete communication and application processing solution, for the home area and near area networking. Battery-mode operation is supported by microamp standby modes as well as ultra-low power RAM for quickest power-down with retained state information.

ASM211 – SYSTEM-ON-CHIP SUB-GHZ WIRELESS SOLUTION FOR ADVANCED RF MESH NETWORKS

For meter-to-meter wireless mesh networking, dominant in North America, Accent offers the ASM211 as a companion device for ASM201. The chip’s RF transceiver and software-based, hardware accelerated Accent SUNFX-4G modem is the industry’s first PHY solution to support the draft IEEE 802.15.4g standard’s mandatory FSK modes and high-data rate, OFDM options for up to 800 Kbps operation and a sensitivity of up to -118 dBm. The flexible architecture also offers support for existing FSK-based proprietary products.

ASM221 – SYSTEM-ON-CHIP FOR OFDM POWERLINE AND SMART METER PROCESSING

The ASM221 addresses next generation metering needs requiring advanced OFDM powerline communication including G3, PRIME, and IEEE1901.2. The ASM221 integrates Accent's SUNFX-PLC software based, hardware accelerated modem and analog front-end, Accent’s AEMET energy measurement as well as ample processing and non-volatile storage capability, enabling the industry’s first single-chip, scalable and future-proof meter solution. The ASM221 also incorporates advanced low-power features and retention RAM for battery-mode operation.

Availability

Product sampling for the ASMgrid2 ASSP family is expected to begin by Q4 2011.

About Accent

Founded in 1993, Accent (www.accent-soc.com) is an ISO 9001:2008 certified world leading semiconductor supplier of communications and metering technologies for the Smart Grid industry. The company is backed by renowned investors such as Sofinnova Partners and Tallwood Venture Capital. Accent is a worldwide operation with offices in Italy, China, France, and United States. Accent's ASMgrid product families integrate the widest technology breadth supporting current and future Smart Grid standards to provide equipment manufacturers off-the-shelf standard products plus complete software platforms for rapid time to market and significantly lowered production costs.

Monday, September 5, 2011

IDENT Technology AG closes 7.1M Euro round

Gilching, Germany, September 5, 2011. IDENT Technology AG, the leader in intelligent e-field based sensors for the consumer electronics industry, is pleased to welcome RBVC among its investors. Existing investors MIG Funds and Danube Equity also participated in the round.

“Our Z-Sense technology is all about making the user experience natural, intuitive, simple and fun”, said Dr. Roland Aubauer, Chief Technology Officer of IDENT and speaker of the board of IDENT. “With our proximity technology already in production we have decided to take our innovations further and launch our own GestIC chip for the fast growing three-dimensional gesture control market in 2012.”The GestIC, designed as a highly integrated system-on-chip (SoC), is aimed at the fast-growing 3D gesture control market. It addresses a broad range of consumer electronics devices, such as tablet computers or mobile phones. The company’s patented and proprietary e-field based technology allows real-time tracking of free space hand or finger movements in front of a device or display. The chip enables a broad range of signals from simple touch detection over sophisticated 3D gesture recognition to dynamic positional data of the user’s hand. This information is translated into any type of pre-processed user input commands. The technology advantages lie in its detection range, high resolution, robustness and very low power consumption.

Robert Bosch Venture Capital’s participation demonstrates its support of IDENT’s strategic vision. Dr. Dieter Kraft, Investment Partner for RBVC’s European Region, said: “We are impressed by IDENT’s technological and commercial achievements, and by the spirit and capabilities of the team. We are convinced that their solutions will make groundbreaking contributions to the user interface world and are happy to support their mission, also as an active member of the company’s supervisory board.”Michael Motschmann, Chief Executive Officer of IDENT’s main shareholder MIG Funds adds: ” RBVC is the venture arm of one of the world leading innovators. This investment is a proof of IDENT’s unique Intellectual Property. Having such a strong and experienced partner on board will enable IDENT to further achieve their technology’s full market potential.”

Christopher Kampshoff, Chief Financial Officer of IDENT concludes: “We are proud that we could engage RBVC for our goals and are looking forward to a business, financial and technical collaboration. With our global customers we are creating a new generation of mobile devices which the industry has not yet seen.”

About IDENT Technology AG

IDENT Technology AG is the industry’s leading provider of intellectual property and semiconductor products for electrical near field sensing solutions. The products enable intelligent proximity sensing and real-time 3D gesture control for the consumer electronics industry, including mobile devices, gaming and other input devices.

The company’s scalable and patented Z-Sense technology allows realization of disruptive human interface features, making products much smarter than previously possible and enabling natural intuitive use. IDENT Technology’s solutions combined with the EZApplication software suite containing a library of 1D touch to 3D gesture recognition solutions lets manufacturers quickly bring to market products which no longer require buttons or keys to switch a device on or off, to start applications, to point, click, zoom, scroll and more on any consumer electronics device.

For more information, visit www.ident-technology.com.

About Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 280,000 associates generated sales of more than 47 billion euro in fiscal 2010. Each year, Bosch spends more than 3.5 billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH invests worldwide in innovative start-up companies at all stages of their development. Its investment activities focus on technology companies working in areas of business of current and future relevance for Bosch, above all automation and control, energy and environment, enabling technologies, and healthcare. Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH also invests in services/ business models as well as new materials that are relevant to the above-mentioned areas of business.

For more information, visit www.bosch.com and www.rbvc.com

About MIG Verwaltungs AG

MIG Funds is a venture capital firm with an investment focus on early to mid stage life science and technology companies in German speaking Europe. MIG is the management entity of 11 venture capital funds (MIG Funds) exclusively distributed by AWAG.For more information, visit www.mig.ag