Nordic Semiconductor pushes hybrid IoT with new Wi-Fi R&D hub in India
Nordic Semiconductor has established a ‘global Wi-Fi hub’ in Hyderabad, in India, with 40 R&D staff and a busy recruitment drive. The Norway based IoT chip maker wants to make the new site a ‘centre of excellence’ for R&D, it said, as it diversifies its IoT hardware portfolio following the acquisition of Ensigma, the Wi-Fi division of UK-based semiconductor and software design firm Imagination Technologies, in November.
Its purchase of the Wi-Fi-based intellectual property assets from Imagination Technologies followed two other notable deals last year, also to broaden its IoT connectivity portfolio, to collaborate with chip-maker Qorvo on dual-mode IoT products running low-power short-range Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ultra wideband (UWB) technologies in June, and for the purchase of Ireland-based UWB pioneer Decawave in February.
Nordic Semiconductor said it is looking to grow the new Wi-Fi hub “rapidly” with “top R&D talent” from India. It said in a statement: “The mission is to develop market-leading low power Wi-Fi products and services that integrate seamlessly with Nordic’s other… wireless IoT offerings.”
The site in Hyderabad was acquired in the deal for Imagination Technologies, and has been repositioned and expanded under its new stewardship. Nordic Semiconductor today announces that further to its acquisition of the entire Wi-Fi development team, core Wi-Fi expertise, and Wi-Fi IP tech assets from Imagination Technologies Group in November last year that it is well underway creating a global Wi-Fi R&D hub at a former
Svein-Egil Nielsen, chief technology officer at the firm, said: “Nordic Semiconductor’s competence as it relates to Wi-Fi systems, solutions, and software will mainly reside in India with smaller hubs in other countries. We are aiming to build a centre of global excellence in low power Wi-Fi and related wireless IoT technologies that is second-to-none – as we have done [with] cellular IoT, where our main R&D hub is located in Finland.”
The company is recruiting in India for Wi-Fi engineers focused on R&D, test and verification, security, low-power design, and interoperability, it said. The Hyderabad hub is certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, already, and is equipped with RF chambers and a separate interoperability lab to ensure operation with other Wi-Fi vendors. Nordic Semiconductor is seeking “collaborative engagement” with local universities in India via internship programmes.
The site is headed by Bansi Mangalwedhekar, country manager for Nordic Semiconductor in India, and Gaurav Kapoor, head of sales in the country.