Silicon Labs acquires Ember for $72m; eyes smarter networking

Silicon Laboratories will acquire Ember Corp. for $72 million in a bid to boost its offerings in smart energy, connected home, security, lighting and more.

Integrated circuit maker Silicon Laboratories announced on Monday that it will acquire Boston, Mass.-based Ember Corp. for $72 million.

Ember specializes in the development of silicon, software and development tools for 2.4 GHz wireless mesh networking solutions -- the kind of infrastructure favored in smart energy, connected home, security, lighting, and other monitoring and control applications.

As such, Ember brings Silicon Labs the technology -- in the form of microcontrollers, sensors, wireless radios and power and isolation tech -- and expertise (specifically around the 802.15.4 ZigBee protocol) to deploy these low-power, small footprint mesh sensor networks.

Ember's system-on-a-chip portfolio is also of interest.

Silicon Labs is banking on taking advantage of a growth opportunity: the size of this market is estimated to increase from $100 million in 2012 to $600 million by 2016 as more and more IP-enabled end points materialize in the "Internet of Things."

The company says it intends to bring the technology to the consumer, commercial and industrial markets -- including its existing customers -- and overall use Ember's resources to accelerate the execution of its roadmap.

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