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Qorvo Gets Into Zigbee With Greenpeak Buy

Brian Santo
4/18/2016
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Qorvo said it is buying privately held GreenPeak Technologies, which specializes in designing short-range RF communication circuitry, specifically Zigbee and Bluetooth chips.

GreenPeak Technologies BV claims to have shipped over 100 million Zigbee chips into the smart home market, including devices for the Zigbee variant called RF4CE which the cable industry tends to favor for remote controls. MSOs are using RF4CE not only for connecting to TVs, but also to the growing number of home automation products. (See GreenPeak Marks 100M Milestone With ZigBee Chips.)

Qorvo Inc. is the result of the merger of two RF specialists, RFMD and Triquint. The acquisition of Greenpeak will give the company a solid position in a corner of the RF business where it previously had minimal presence, and gets it deeper into the market for the Internet of things (IoT).

The markets for IEEE 802.4.15 (the standard upon which Zigbee is based) and Bluetooth promise growth. Qorvo quoted Gartner's assessment that the portion of the smart home networking and IoT markets addressed by those technologies could grow to $2.3 billion by 2020, and that as the IoT develops there could be another $5 billion worth of low-power connectivity applications in retail, agriculture, automotive, lifestyle and commercial lighting in that same time span.


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GreenPeak will become part of Qorvo’s infrastructure and defense products (IDP) group. The operation will continue to be headed by Cees Links, co-founder and CEO of Greenpeak.

No purchase price was given. Over the years, the company had three rounds of funding for a total of about $31 million, from a half dozen vendors including Draper Esprit, Robert Bosch Venture Capital and Gimv Arkiv Technology Fund. Gimv, the lead investor, said in a statement "this exit will have a net positive impact of EUR 5.3 million on the equity value at 31 December 2015. Over the entire period, this investment generated a return above Gimv’s long-term average return."

The transaction is expected to close in the current quarter.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

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