Nvidia to Acquire Icera for $367 Million to Add Radio Chips

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA), a maker of computer- graphics chips, said it will acquire closely held Icera Inc. for $367 million, adding radio processors as part of a push to expand into mobile phones and tablets.

Icera’s chips translate radio signals into voice and data. Buying the Bristol, U.K.-based company will give Nvidia the ability to offer customers the two main chips that power mobile devices, the company said in a statement today.

Under Chief Executive Officer Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia is trying to win a slice of the growing market for mobile devices to lessen its dependence on personal-computer graphics, where competition from Intel Corp. (INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) is accelerating. Nvidia has already won a spot for its Tegra processors in Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.’s devices.

The ability to offer Tegra and a radio chip will double Nvidia’s opportunity for revenue from each device, and help its customers deliver new devices to the market more quickly, the Santa Clara, California-based company’s statement said.

Nvidia’s stock rose 43 cents to $19.75 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The company will announce its first-quarter earnings on May 12. The Icera acquisition will begin to contribute to earnings on an operating basis in the second half of 2012, Nvidia said.

Icera, founded in 2002, has about 300 employees.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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