Entropic Buys Satellite Chip Technologies From PLX

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Entropic Communications, a supplier of home networking and set-top silicon, acquired direct broadcast satellite intellectual property and corresponding technologies from PLX Technology in a deal worth up to $8 million.

The PLX assets relate to the design and development of a digital channel stacking switch (dCSS) semiconductor product. In addition to the asset purchase agreement, Entropic will pay a one-time $4 million licensing fee for intellectual property related to the acquired assets. Entropic also hired six engineers from PLX.

The PLX assets are complementary to Entropic's current DBS outdoor unit product portfolio, according to Entropic. The company said the acquisition should strengthen its position as the DBS market makes the transition to the Sat-IP architecture, in which satellite signals are converted to IP and distributed over an IP network to any device.

"The transaction with PLX provides key technologies that will accelerate our DBS [outdoor unit] product roadmap," Vinay Gokhale, Entropic's senior vice president of corporate development and strategy, said in a statement.

The deal is tiny compared with Entropic's $65 million acquisition of Trident Microsystems' set-top box system-on-a-chip business earlier this year, which doubled the company's headcount to about 700 employees. The Trident set-top product portfolio included SoCs, DOCSIS modems, interface devices and media processors.