By Peter Clark
Flash storage company SanDisk Corp. (Milpitas, Calif.) has announced that it has invested in Altair Semiconductor Ltd., a privately held developer of LTE-only chipsets founded in 2005. The investment was described as “strategic” although the size was not revealed.
Altair (Hod Hasharon, Israel) has already raised more than $125 million, most recently a $25 million Series F in June 2014, that was led by Jerusalem Global Ventures. The company has a long history of developing OFDM-based solutions but has remained in startup mode for so long partly because it started out serving a WiMax market that never developed.
Now Altair’s LTE-only chipsets have achieved multiple qualifications for use by mobile phone service suppliers around the world and provide 4G LTE Internet connectivity to tablets, netbooks, USB dongles, portable hotspots, fixed routers and modems, machine-to-machine applications and other devices. SanDisk said that Altair has more than 30 customers that use Altair chips within millions of pieces equipment that connect to 4G LTE networks around the world.
SanDisk Ventures was formed in 2012 with a mission to invest $75 million in a three-year period in companies with promising technologies that extend the value proposition of flash-based memory and storage.
“The combination of flash storage and LTE chipset technology offers the potential to deliver untethered Internet and device-to-device connectivity to a wide range of consumer electronics, and ultimately brings us closer to making the Internet of Things pervasive,” said Sumit Sadana, chief strategy officer of SanDisk, in a statement. “Our strategic investment and collaboration with Altair will enable SanDisk to optimize our flash storage solutions for this important ecosystem and further strengthen our potential for growth in this highly dynamic market segment.”
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