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Circuit Manufacturer Acquires Wireless Network Developer

Ethernet network adapter (Ember Corp.)

Ethernet network adapter (Ember Corp.)

Silicon Laboratories Inc. in Austin, Texas has acquired Ember Corporation in Boston to supplement the Silicon Labs product line in low-power networking for home and business applications. The initial value of the purchase is placed at $72 million. Ember is expected to contribute $10-$12 million in revenue in the second half of 2012.

Silicon Labs is a manufacturer of mixed-signal semiconductors that combine both digital and analog circuits on the same chip. The privately-held late-stage Ember Corporation develops circuitry and software for wireless mesh networking for sensing and control of devices in homes, offices, and factories.

The acquisition of Ember, says Silicon Labs, will give the company the technology and software expertise needed to meet the growing demand for low-power mesh sensor networks. The integration of low-power wireless devices as Internet Protocol end-points is helping create the Internet of Things, with applications in smart energy, connected home, security, and lighting, among others.

Silicon Labs says the market for these devices and systems is estimated to increase from $100 million in 2012 to $600 million by 2016. The combination of the companies’ products is expected to bring together microcontroller, power and isolation technology, sensors, and both sub-gigahertz (GHz) and 2.4 GHz wireless radios into a portfolio of integrated networking solutions for embedded systems.

Ember is a pioneer in the market for systems using the ZigBee standard (802.15.4). The company has more than a decade of experience in the connected home, smart meters, and building automation, with more than 25 million units shipped.

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