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Telit acquires GainSpan to increase wifi portfolio

Steve Rogerson
February 9, 2017

IoT enabler Telit has agreed to acquire Silicon Valley-based GainSpan, a wireless connectivity provider that specialises in the design and development of low-power wifi technology. 

GainSpan makes and commercialises chips and modules for battery-powered devices and related intellectual property with embedded software, including network stacks and application reference designs. It has more than 90 employees, mostly R&D and application and support engineers, spread across an R&D centre in Bangalore, India, and San Jose, California.

“As we enter an era of maturity for the IoT, we are starting to witness the appearance of spaces within it such as the internet of sensors, the internet of cars and the internet of digital,” said Oozi Cats, CEO of London-based Telit. “With few exceptions, the ability to cut the power cord is an essential growth engine for all these branches of the IoT.” 

According to the September 2016 IoT Forecasts from Machina Research, by 2025 about three-quarters of the more than 27 billion IoT connections will be short range, which is largely comprised of the various types of wifi. Wifi is a key technology for applications within the IoT that are battery-dependent, due to the low-power consumption. 

The acquisition positions Telit to expand its complete end-to-end IoT portfolio and address the growing market of battery-powered devices that rely on wifi and other low-power technologies. GainSpan products are situated at the intersection of several emerging segments in IoT such as healthcare, building management, cold-chain logistics, and a wide range of commercial and industrial application areas. Its top-tier customer base leverages the company’s IP to deliver seamless integration of wifi with low-power technologies such as Bluetooth LE and 6LoWPan for reliable, secure connectivity.

“The acquisition of GainSpan brings to Telit a world-class portfolio and a proven track record of wifi and low-power modules trusted by tier-one customers,” said Cats. “Combined with our existing strength in delivering the most comprehensive, relevant portfolio of products for the IoT, this addition positions us well for future growth in our target segments, including security and surveillance, home automation, healthcare, asset management, and smart cities.” 

Assets from GainSpan align well with existing Telit products including cellular, Bluetooth and GNSS modules, as well as IoT connectivity and platform services, strengthening the company’s sensor-to-cloud proposition. The integration of the low-power wifi technology from GainSpan, with low standby current and fast wake-up time, into the Telit portfolio enables users to extend the battery life of their devices for years. 

GainSpan IP also offloads wifi services and networking functionality from the application. User devices can be designed with a simple and inexpensive MCU or without one at all.