Qualcomm Boosts Position In Automotive, 'IoE' Markets With CSR Acquisition

Qualcomm announced that it bought Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), a fabless provider of end-to-end semiconductor and software solutions for the "Internet of Everything," as Qualcomm called it, and the automotive market.

Qualcomm bought the company for $2.2 billion ($2.4 billion equity value), hoping to expand faster in markets other than mobile, where it's still a leading player. After the acquisition is complete, CSR will become a subsidiary of Qualcomm Technologies.

"As we strive to connect billions more devices, automobiles and people within the Internet of Everything, we are enthusiastic about the growth that this combination will foster," said Steve Mollenkopf, chief executive officer, Qualcomm Incorporated. "CSR's complementary strengths in connectivity, audio technologies and systems-on-chips will help strengthen Qualcomm Technologies' position in the IoE and automotive industries, and add to a broad and highly advanced portfolio," he added.

After the bad PR, loss of contracts and lower sales for the Snapdragon 810, Qualcomm's investors and executives might have realized that although the company has been the unchallenged leader in the mobile market, that may not always remain the case. Therefore it makes sense for Qualcomm to start looking for other growth opportunities, regardless of how well it's doing in smartphones or tablets.

As more cars become "smarter," electric (which generally tend to have much more technology on board), or even fully autonomous, it looks like the automotive market is going to be an important one for chip markets that dedicate resources for it.

Qualcomm isn't the only chip maker looking to invest in this market. Nvidia, Imagination and even Intel are all interested in it. However, being in a leadership position in mobile gives Qualcomm the opportunity to do well in the automotive market, too.

The "Internet of Everything," which refers to the majority of smart products that will be all around us and have low-power embedded chips, is also a market Qualcomm cannot miss, because although these chips tend to cost pennies, their market measures in billions of units sold every year.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.