Silicon Labs buys Energy Micro

June 07, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Companies state, “...combined portfolios enable the internet of things, smart energy and portable electronics.”

Silicon Labs - analogue-intensive, mixed-signal IC house - has signed an agreement to acquire Energy Micro AS, based in Oslo. Energy Micro sells what it describes as the industry’s most power-efficient portfolio of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) and is developing multi-protocol wireless RF solutions based on ARM Cortex-M architecture. Energy Micro’s “energy-friendly” MCU and radio solutions are designed to enable a broad range of power-sensitive applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), smart energy, home automation, security and portable electronics markets. Silicon Labs says that this deal positions the company as the foremost innovator in energy-friendly embedded solutions.

Energy Micro’s portfolio contains 32-bit Precision32 MCU, Ember ZigBee and sub-GHz wireless products for the embedded market. The acquisition greatly expands Silicon Labs’ MCU portfolio, adding nearly 250 ARM-based EFM32 Gecko MCU products ranging from extreme-low-power, small-footprint MCUs based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ core to higher-performance, energy-friendly MCUs powered by the Cortex-M4 core capable of DSP and floating-point operations. The companies' statement also says that the acquisition is expected to enhance Silicon Labs’ radio portfolio with the addition of Energy Micro’s ultra-low-power EFR Draco radio products. These wireless transceivers and system-on-chip (SoC) devices will support frequency bands ranging from sub-GHz to 2.4 GHz and multiple standard and proprietary protocols including Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), 6LoWPAN, ZigBee, RF4CE, 802.15.4(g), KNX, ANT+ and additional protocols.

Silicon Labs says it intends to apply these complementary embedded technology platforms and expertise to the burgeoning IoT and smart energy markets, as well as the proliferation of battery-powered portable electronics devices. Both companies’ 32-bit MCU and wireless products use the same ARM Cortex-M architecture.

Geir Førre, president and CEO of Energy Micro is expected to become vice president and general manager of Silicon Lab’s Energy-Friendly Microcontroller and Radio business unit, based in Oslo. “Silicon Labs’ excellent resources and technology will help the combined company develop new products and gain market share more quickly. The combination of our broad portfolios