Qualcomm acquires Artemis assets, targets STB business

Chip maker Qualcomm has acquired certain technology assets from network-on-chip (NoC) interconnect IP specialist Arteris for an undisclosed sum. The firm has also hired personnel formerly employed by Arteris.

As part of the transaction, Arteris retains the right to license, support and maintain its existing Arteris FlexNoC and Arteris FlexLLI product lines in order to fulfil existing and new licensing contracts.

Qualcomm has agreed to make certain FlexNoC updates available to Arteris based upon an agreed upon schedule and provide certain engineering support to Arteris.

“Arteris NoC technology has been and will continue to be a key enabler for creating larger and more complex chips in a shorter amount of time at a lower cost,” said K. Charles Janac, President and CEO, Arteris. “This acquisition of our technology assets represents a validation of the value of Arteris’ Network-on-Chip interconnect IP technology.”

The firm is also muscling its way into the set-top box (STB) chip business, a move likely to shake up the market’s competitive landscape, according to analysts at IHS.

The firm is a serious contender to the current STB duopoly held by Broadcom and STMicroelectronics. Both Broadcom and STM sit atop the $2bn market for set-top box processors.

“For several years now, the lucrative market for STB audio-visual processors has been dominated by Broadcom and STM,” said Jordan Selburn, senior principal analyst, consumer platforms, at IHS.

“While a handful of vendors also competed, mostly with chips targeted at lower-performance systems, the two powerhouses virtually owned the high-end market and accounted for roughly 80 per cent of total STB processor revenue. Now Qualcomm has entered the STB market, and the incumbent leaders will face a serious challenger that has its sights set on domination.”


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