Samsung buys into Bluetooth with acquisition of British company CSR's wireless unit

Samsung has announced that it's taking over the wireless communications unit of British company Cambridge Silicon Radio, maker of market-leading audio solutions such as its Bluetooth aptX codec, just launched in Onkyo's new UBT-1 Bluetooth audio adapter.

The £200m deal, which will Samsung says will be finalised later this year, will see the South Korean company boosting its capabilities in wireless data communications for devices such as tablets, smartphones and portable entertainment products.

Founded in 1999 by a group of nine colleagues (above) from Cambridge Consultants, CSR's original work was to create a single-chip Bluetooth solution. It now employs over 2500 people worldwide, is the market leader in Bluetooth technology, and other short-range wireless applications such as FM, GPS, NFC and Wi-Fi.

It's headquartered in the Cambridge Science Park in the 'Silicon Fen' around the university city, and is a so-called fabless company, designing and engineering products which are made elsewhere by partners.

The contract will see Samsung taking over access to CSR's patents and licences in semiconductors for mobile communications, including Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi along with around 300 staff.

It's also expected that the Korean company will take a minor stake in CSR as a whole.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.