Sony will be acquiring an Israeli chip maker called Altair Semiconductor for $212 million, the handset maker announced in an official press release this week. Altair Semiconductor is known for its advancements with LTE (Long Term Evolution) modems. They’ve been working on making LTE chips that are faster, with lower power consumption, all while at a lower cost. This possibly means that Sony can deploy LTE technology to markets that may not have it as of yet. The acquisition is slated to be all wrapped up early by February 2016, just a few weeks away.
Sony clearly plans to use this new technology in phones, but their plans do not stop there. Sony mentions that they’ll also use Altair’s technology with their ongoing plans around the Internet of Things, including Google’s connected world. They can put these chips right into devices to give them cellular capabilities, so they have constant connectivity to the Internet. That means if your Wi-Fi goes down, you will still be able to change your mood lights if they’re cellularly equipped.
Their plans do not stop there. Since this LTE chip technology is so small, Sony may be able to use it for wearables. Yes, there are wearables with cellular now, but what if they had better battery? One of the ongoing struggles for wearables is the lack of good battery life, and this could help Sony, which plays a big role in the supplier business, solve that problem.
If you are a numbers savvy person, there is no need to worry as there is no anticipated impact on Sony’s fiscal year earnings, which will be wrapping up March 31, 2016. I am looking forward to Sony’s acquisition since more technology with better connectivity means less worrying about if I forgot to turn the TV on for the cat. It’s the little things that technology does for us, right? We’ll keep an eye on this acquisition and see what ultimately comes of it.