Sony Grabs Israeli Chipmaker Altair for $212M To Boost IoT Biz

Electronics behemoth Sony Corp. seems determined to make its mark in the Internet of Things (IoT) arena. The company just snapped up Altair Semiconductor for $212 million to get a running start.

Israel-based Altair makes modem chip technology and develops software for LTE, the standard data communications protocol on most smartphones. Industry watchers expect LTE to be the connector of devices in the rising IoT market. Sony expects to complete the acquisition early next month.

IoT is an evolution of the Internet as we know it. It networks together everyday objects and allows them to send and receive data. Many refrigerators, cars, security systems, smartphones and other devices carry unique identifiers that pave the way for seamless communication without human intervention.

?EU?Going forward, more and more ?EU?things?EU? are expected to be equipped with cellular chipsets, realizing a connected environment in which ?EU?things?EU? can reliably and securely access network services that leverage the power of cloud computing,?EU? Sony said in a statement.

An Upside for Sony

Altair is known for developing and selling LTE technology-based products. According to Sony, Altair's modem chips offer low power consumption, high performance and competitive cost. The low price of the acquisition could help Sony step into the IoT world with relatively little risk.

?EU?Internet of Things is obviously one of the hottest markets today,?EU? Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, told us. ?EU?My research actually shows we?EU?ll have somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 billion devices connected by the end of the decade. There is certainly a lot of upside for Sony.?EU?

Upside, indeed. Market research firm IDC has predicted that the overall IoT market in manufacturing operations will grow from $42.2 billion in 2013 to $98.8 billion in 2018. That?EU?s a five-year compound annual growth rate of 18.6 percent.

Zeroing in on Two Markets

Sony has clear plans to expand Altair?EU?s...

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