Internet of Things

Sony Builds IoT Footprint With $212M Acquisition

Any chef worth his or her salt knows that the best meals start with the best possible ingredients. If Sony is applying the same method to a fully functional IoT device ecosystem, then its acquisition of one of the top semiconducting chip companies in Israel should hint at big plans.

Sony announced Tuesday (Jan. 26) that it had officially acquired Israel-based Altair Semiconductor for the sale price of $212 million. The deal will be finalized by early February, won’t affect Sony’s books for the fiscal year ending March 31 and it could set the high-profile brand up for some big moves in the IoT space.

Bringing Altair on board makes particular sense for a company like Sony. TechCrunch explained that Altair specializes in developing chips for mobile devices that transmit with enough power without rapidly draining sensitive or low-capacity batteries. In fact, how efficient developers can design their IoT networks could have a major impact on the number of early adopting consumers; if users’ batteries are continually drained by lithium ion-guzzling chips, what consumer is going to want to extend access to other devices or third-party beacons attempting to send and receive information?

While Sony might be ahead of the game with its new repository of low-power semiconductors, Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of the Economy, told Bloomberg that it’s far from unusual to see Japanese businesses scour Israel’s Silicon Wadi for easily acquired sources of sudden innovation.

“Japanese companies are more active in looking for innovative and disruptive Israeli technology,” Hasson said. “The Sony deal is a good example of that.”

Though Sony remained tight-lipped on any new developments now that the manufacturer has a new boost of Israeli innovation under its belt, it did hint at work on “a new breed of cellular-connected, sensing component devices.”

Whatever those might be.


For more news on what’s happening in the IoT space, check out PYMNTS’ Internet of Things Tracker, released this month. 


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