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By Beth Bacheldor

STMicroelectronics Acquires ams' NFC and UHF RFID Reader Assets

STMicroelectronics has announced that it has acquired the assets of ams, a global maker of sensor and analog solutions, related to ams' Near Field Communication (NFC) and UHF RFID reader IP, technologies and product lines. The terms of the deal include an up-front cash payment of $77.8 million, as well as a deferred earn-out consideration contingent on future results of up to $37 million.

Through the terms of its deal with ams, ST says, it is acquiring the company's intellectual property, technologies, products and businesses highly complementary to its secure microcontroller solutions serving the mobile devices, wearables, banking, identification, industrial, automotive and Internet of Things markets. Approximately 50 technical experts from ams have been transferred to ST.

According to STMicroelectronics, the acquired ams assets, combined with ST's secure microcontrollers, position it for a significant growth opportunity, with a broader portfolio of technologies, products and competencies that address a range of the NFC and RFID markets for a wide customer base. The first NFC controller, leveraging the acquired assets, is already sampling to lead customers, ST reports, along with a new high-performance, highly integrated system-in-package solution that combines this NFC controller with ST's secure element.

Ams says the transaction is part of its ongoing efforts to actively manage its portfolio of technologies, with a clear focus on implementing its sensor solutions strategy. The divestment comprises ams' NFC assets, including NFC front-end and antenna-boost solutions, and integrated high-frequency (HF) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader assets. The related design and marketing resources are mostly based in Premstaetten, Austria, and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Ams reports that it will retain its NFC and UHF RFID wireless tags business and related IP, and that it plans to create wireless sensor solutions for IoT applications combining NFC and UHF RFID connectivity interfaces with its portfolio of sensors. Alexander Everke, ams' CEO, says that divesting certain NFC and UHF RFID product lines will streamline his company's product and technology portfolio around its core sensor solutions competence, while maximizing the value of its high-performance wireless IP.

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