Nvidia cooking up 3G/4G chips

Competition in the mobile chip market is heating up, as graphics giant Nvidia agreed on Monday to acquire a UK-based baseband processor manufacturer, adding wireless connectivity to its arsenal.

US-based Nvidia is best known for development and manufacture of GPUs or dedicated graphics processors. But with smartphones becoming more powerful and chipsets increasingly more integrated, owning a radio baseband processing unit seems a reasonable move.

Icera, which was founded in the UK, will be acquired for $367m in cash and will give Nvidia 3G and 4G baseband technology, as well as 550 patents granted or pending worldwide.

The GPU manufacturer said it aims to combine Icera’s high speed wireless modem products with its Tegra processor, covering the two main processors used in smartphones – the application processor and baseband processor. But more importantly, for Nvidia, the move will allow the firm to double its revenue opportunity within each device.

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