ST acquisitions boost UWB and narrowband capabilities

July 23, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
ST acquisitions boost UWB and narrowband capabilities
STMicroelectronics has acquired BeSpoon SA (Le Bourget du Lac, France) and the IoT cellular assets of Riot Micro Inc., (Burnaby, British Columbia) for an undisclosed amount of money.

The moves by ST will be used to strengthen the ultrawide band (UWB) and narrowband cellular capabilities of its STM32 microcontroller range.

BeSpoon is a UWB specialist that was founded in 2010. The company's technology enables secure real-time indoor location with centimeter accuracy. The integration of this positioning technology in the STM32 product portfolio will enable developers of IoT, automotive and mobile communication applications to provide services such as secure access, and precise indoor and outdoor mapping.

ST is acquiring BeSpoon from its majority shareholder Trumpf GmbH and Co. KG (Ditzingen, Germany) and the founders. Trumpf is a family-owned industrial machinery manufacturing company and ST will enter into strategic partnership with Trumpf on UWB tracking technology.

Similar companies to BeSpoon include Novelda AS (Kvitesied, Norway) and DecaWave Ltd. (Dublin Ireland). DecaWave was acquired earlier this year by RF chip supplier Qorvo Inc. in a deal estimated to be worth $400 million or more.

Riot Micro designs cellular IoT wireless systems using Bluetooth, W-Fi, LTE Cat-M and NB-IoT protocols. The integration of cellular communication capabilities into the STM32 portfolio will strengthen ST’s offer for customers developing applications such as asset tracking, metering and fleet management services.

"These acquisitions complement ST’s existing wireless microcontroller offer which includes Bluetooth 5.0and IEEE 802.15.4 communication protocols as well as the world’s first LoRa-enabled System-on-Chip," said Claude Dardanne, president of the microcontroller and digital ICs business unit at STMicroelectronics, in a statement. "With these acquisitions, we will address all wireless IoT communication protocols," he added.

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