Silicon Labs gains wireless mesh networking technology with Ember acquisition

May 21, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Silicon Laboratories Inc., has announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Boston-based Ember Corporation for initial consideration of $72 million, subject to an adjustment for certain working capital amounts and potential earn-out consideration.

Ember is a late-stage private company offering market-leading silicon, software and development tools for 2.4 GHz wireless mesh networking solutions being deployed in smart energy, connected home, security, lighting, and many other monitoring and control applications.

This strategic acquisition brings Silicon Labs the technology and software expertise required to enable the low-power mesh sensor networks being deployed today in a wide range of residential, commercial and industrial applications. The demand for low-power, small-footprint wireless technology is accelerating as more and more IP-enabled end points are being connected to the “Internet of Things.” Expected to be the first 10 billion unit per year market, the Internet of Things is being realized to enable more convenient, energy-efficient and safer home and work environments.

The Ember portfolio complements Silicon Labs’ products and targets a growing market estimated to increase from $100 million in 2012 to $600 million by 2016. The combination of the companies’ products will bring together microcontroller (MCU), power and isolation technology, sensors, and both sub-GHz and 2.4 GHz wireless radios into a comprehensive portfolio of highly integrated networking solutions for embedded systems.

Ember is a pioneer in the market for 802.15.4 ZigBee® solutions, developing mesh networking technology since the concept was first conceived. The design team represents some of the most experienced talent in embedded radios. The company’s products integrate high-performance, low-power 2.4 GHz wireless ICs with reliable and scalable networking software into a platform with unmatched performance and flexibility. With more than a decade of systems and software knowledge applied to the connected home, smart meters and building automation and more than 25 million units shipped, Ember has developed a leadership position in ZigBee-based systems and has established the benchmark for performance and usability.

Silicon Labs expects that the addition of Ember’s high-performance system-on-chip (SoC) portfolio, advanced networking software expertise, and a proven design and applications team will contribute to the rapid expansion of its Broad-based business. Silicon Labs