NXP buying US fabless GPS chip firm

December 21, 2007 – NXP Semiconductors (nee Philips’ semiconductor business) is acquiring Newport Beach, CA-based fabless company GloNav, a developer of single-chip technology for global positioning systems (GPS) and other satellite navigation systems, for $85M in cash plus another $25M in two-year performance incentives.

The deal “adds complementary technologies to our existing portfolio” of connectivity technologies — namely GPS capabilities that mesh well with NXP’s other cell phone technologies including FM radio, Bluetooth, USB, and NFC, noted NXP CEO Frans van Houten in a statement.

“We already turned the cell phone into a multimedia wallet,” he said. With ~40% of phones by 2010 (~560M phones) expected to have GPS capabilities, “it’s only natural that we also want to use our mobile phones to navigate and to find local goods and services. GPS integration allows us to create these and many more interesting and dynamic features, continuously enriching the cell phone in our pocket.”

For GloNav, the deal provides scale (beyond its current 90nm), access to new markets and customers (leading handset and device manufacturers), and access to NXP’s development in cellular systems, noted GloNav CEO Bill McLean.


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