Intel buys satellite navigation chips business from ST-Ericsson

The about 130 people in the team will join Intel in three locations

Intel has confirmed that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets of the Global Navigation Satellite System business of ST-Ericsson, extending its investments in positioning technology.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ST-Ericsson, a 50-50 semiconductor joint venture by STMicroelectronics and Ericsson, announced earlier on Tuesday that it had sold the assets and intellectual property rights associated with its mobile connectivity GNSS business to an unnamed "leading semiconductor company."

STMicroelectronics and Ericsson announced in March that they were winding down the operations of the joint venture, with each parent taking on parts of ST-Ericsson. The joint venture said it was pursuing external options for its connectivity business.

The deal, signed last week, extends Intel's investments in positioning technology "with a team of industry veterans that has a successful track record of developing and commercializing GPS [global positioning system] silicon spanning more than 20 years and 11 generations of GPS/GNSS silicon," Intel said in an emailed statement.

The GNSS team of about 130 people located in Daventry in the U.K., Bangalore and Singapore are expected to join Intel at closing of the transaction.

The staff will be integrated into the Mobile and Communications Group's Wireless Platform R&D (WPRD) organization. Employees based in the UK and Singapore will remain at their current locations, while employees based in India will join WPRD employees at Intel's existing Bangalore location, Intel said.

The proceeds from the sale, combined with the avoidance of employee restructuring charges and other related restructuring costs, will reduce ST-Ericsson's cash needs by about US$90 million, the company said. The transaction is expected to be completed in August, and is subject to regulatory approvals and standard conditions.

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