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Ceva dives into connectivity IP market with RivieraWaves

Posted: 10 Jul 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IP  Bluetooth  Wi-Fi  Ceva  RivieraWaves 

Top DSP-based IP platform licensor Ceva Inc. has tethered RivieraWaves, a privately held Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity IP vendor based in Sophia-Antipolis, France.

RivieraWaves, a red-hot start-up founded in 2010, has 29 employees, mostly R&D engineers, with a marketing and sales staff of one. Nonetheless, it has already signed up more than 25 licensees, including Dialogue Semiconductor, Renesas, and Celeno Communications. RivieraWaves has "many more blue chip semiconductor companies as its licensees, whose names I am not allowed to say," Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of Ceva, tells EE Times in an interview.

The acquisition will help Ceva beef up its connectivity portfolio. Wertheizer also sees an opportunity for Ceva to scale RivieraWaves' business substantially. To top it off, the start-up's acquisition will add an immediate boost to Ceva's annual IP licensing revenue in 2015.

During a call Wednesday with financial analysts, Ceva revealed that its combined 2015 licensing revenue is expected to grow by 25 per cent. This is hardly chump change, considering that Ceva's annual licensing revenue in recent years has been $22-24 million.

Ceva will pay about $19 million to acquire RivieraWaves. Ceva's initial payment, at closing, will be about $12 million, with the rest contingent of RivieraWaves' certain performance and other milestones. The two companies have agreed on a two-year retention plan for current RivieraWaves employees.

Two markets

Werthiezer lays out two basic markets where Ceva can take advantage of RivieraWaves' connectivity IPs. First is the infrastructure market. "We see among our customers—those who build small cells and access points based on the Ceva DSP platform—an almost immediate need to run software-based WiFi algorithms, in addition to LTE processing," he explains.

Second is the mass market looking for hardwired connectivity solutions. "A lot of our customers lack connectivity in their SoCs developed for tablets, smartphones, and wearable devices. The demand is very big."

As with any other company in the electronics industry today, Ceva is keeping an eye on the anticipated growth of the IoT market. With the acquisition of RivieraWaves, Ceva said that it hopes to extend its reach to include wearables, the smart home, connected cars, and the IoT. Noting that ABI Research predicts 35 billion connected devices by 2020, while Cisco forecasts 50 billion, Werthiezer explains, "It's basically a market of billion devices that we're talking about."


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