Why has Nordic Semi acquired an embedded memory supplier?


Memory has become an increasingly vital ingredient of the ultra-low-power Internet of Things (IoT) chip designs, and that’s apparent from Nordic Semiconductor’s acquisition of low-voltage embedded SRAM supplier Mobile Semiconductor. It’s a privately-held U.S. company specializing in embedded memory technology for microcontrollers and system-on-chips (SoCs).

It’s important to note that Nordic has been working with Mobile Semiconductor for years and has incorporated the company’s embedded SRAMs in its nRF52 and nRF53 Series wireless SoCs and nRF91 Series system-in-package (SiP) devices. Now Nordic has decided to bring this memory expertise in-house to bolster its Bluetooth and cellular IoT chip designs.

Mobile Semiconductor, founded in 2006 by Cameron Fisher, develops custom embedded SRAM solutions for chip designs. It generates memory IP using the Trailblaze software as well as delivers embedded SRAM compilers. Its acquisition by Nordic underscores the critical importance of memory architectures in wireless and IoT chip designs.

Wireless chips and MCUs are getting bigger and smarter, and they need to embed more memory to boost speed and reduce latency. More such deals could likely be in the play from wireless chipmakers and MCU suppliers. It also marks a new phase in the evolution of MCU and SoC designs serving a broad array of IoT applications.

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