Financial news


28 Jun 2012

Acquisition of Cognovo gives u-blox own 4G chip technology

ARM spin-off Cognovo enables u-blox to address new markets for high-speed LTE modems

Cognovo’s 4G baseband chip

Cognovo’s 4G baseband chip was successfully demonstrated at Mobile World Congress

Thalwil, Switzerland – June 28, 2012 – u-blox (SIX:UBXN), a global leader in positioning and wireless semiconductors, announces the acquisition of UK-based Cognovo Ltd., a company specializing in “Software Defined Modem” (SDM) chip development technology.


The acquisition extends u-blox’ chip design capabilities to create differentiated products for strategic markets that require 4G communications combined with global positioning.


“This is a very exciting acquisition for u-blox as it positions us as an agile and cost-effective supplier of high-speed wireless modem products based on our own chip IP. This allows us to meet market demand for connected systems that require positioning, connectivity and application specific functionality on a single integrated circuit,” said Thomas Seiler, u-blox CEO. “This new foundation broadens our serviceable market, and will increase our margins in the automotive, consumer and industrial sectors. Our first 4G product is planned for 2013.”


Cognovo’s “Software Defined Modem” (SDM) technology and development tools quickly translate complex radio modem designs into fully characterized low-power semiconductor chips. The combination of technologies from Cognovo and the recently acquired 4M Wireless will result in a new wireless modem platform based on IP owned by u-blox.


Proven design
Cognovo has already demonstrated their SDM baseband chip running high-speed 4G cellular functionality working with the LTE protocol stack from 4M Wireless at Mobile World Congress. With these acquisitions, u‑blox lays the groundwork for establishing a leading position in 4G wireless modems similar to the strategy that u-blox followed to become the market leader in GPS/GNSS modules. The market for 4G modems used for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications is predicted to grow rapidly, surpassing 20 million units by 2016.


“We are very pleased to deploy our SDM technology within u-blox”, said Dr. Gordon Aspin, Cognovo CEO. “With over 300 man-years of R&D invested in our SDM technology, this acquisition brings together the industry’s most advanced software modem development platform with some of the best IC design and GNSS engineers in the world. This will be an unbeatable team.”


Key terms of the transaction include:

  • Acquisition of 100% of the shares of Cognovo Ltd at a price of 16.5 million US Dollars
  • Acquisition of key intellectual property and software
  • Integration of the Cognovo business and 30 employees into u-blox’ organization


Conference call: u-blox will conduct a conference call with financial analysts and media to discuss this news today, June 28, at 8:00 am, CET.


A supplementary slide presentation will be available on u-blox’ website under the "Investor Relations" section by 9:00 am CET.


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