Sony Targets IoT With £148m Deal For Chipmaker Altair

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Israeli firm currently makes chipsets for connecting smart products to the web

Sony has increased its presence in the Internet of Things (IoT) market with the purchase of a growing powerhouse in the industry.

The Japanese electronics giant has said it is buying Israeli chipmaker Altair Semiconductor for $212m (£148.8m) as it looks to ramps up its investment in the IoT hardware space.

The deal, which is set to close within the next few weeks, will see Sony look to continue its recovery after strong sales of camera sensors in the last few years helped turn around the business.

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altairHeadquartered in the Israeli city of Hod Hasharon, Altair Semiconductor is known for its production of modem chips that allows products such as security cameras and energy meters to connect up to the web or larger smart hubs.

Sony says that its acquisition will allow it to not only expand Altair’s existing business, but also to move forward with its own research on and development of new sensing technologies.

Going forward, Sony wants to combine its sensing technologies – such as GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and image sensors – with Altair’s high-performance, low power consumption and cost-competitive modem chip technology to create a new generation of smart, connected devices.

Recent figures from Gartner have suggested that as many as 5.5 million devices will be connected every day in 2016 as the total number of ‘things’ comprising the IoT reaches 6.4 billion this year.

A further report from analyst house Juniper predicted that consumer spending on smart homes and their associated products is set to skyrocket and reach $100bn (£65bn) within the next five years, as this growth will push the number of connected appliances in smart homes to over 20 million by 2020.

Among TechWeekEurope readers, 80 percent have either adopted IoT applications or plan to, but home use is outpacing that of the office.

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