Best known for its Bluetooth chips – products in Apple Beats headphones
The toast of the British high tech sector, microchip firm CSR (formerly known as Cambridge Silicon Radio) was recently at the receiving end of an takeover offer from US based rival Microchip Technology. Subsequently CSR said in an official statement, “The price proposed by Microchip has been rejected and the board is considering its options for the company.” However, the move has signalled CSR’s potential availability and led to speculation that another US based firm – potentially Apple could make a higher offer for the company. Interest in CSR is being fuelled by its latest move into the Internet of Things [IoT] sector.
The chief reason why Apple’s name crops up as a possible suitor is that CSR’s chips are used in products from the now Apple-owned Beats headphones.
(See ‘Dr Dre may add fizz to Apple’s music brand’).
For a long time, however, CSR has been a leading provider of Bluetooth chips and it has been looking for markets other than mobile phones, tablets, headphones and laptops into whcih it can sell its products.
Thus it has been developing Bluetooth so that it connects multiple devices in the home – classic Internet of Things stuff.
“The statement from CSR mentions no other talks with potential bidders, but… it seems that other potential bidders are likely to be being sounded out now,” commented Nick James an analyst with Numis.
GoMo News was amused to see one report that claimed CSR had invented Bluetooth technology.
Er, no. The clue is in the name. It was codenamed Bluetooth by Ericsson’s engineers after a Viking king Harald ‘Bluetooth’ Gormsson.
Ericsson moved swiftly to turn Bluetooth into an industry standard so it found the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) which CSR naturally joined.
Previous to the CSR bid, Microchip agreed to buy Taiwanese wireless product maker ISSC Technologies Corp for $328.5 million (£198 million) in May .
Today [September 1st 2014], CSR’s share reached a high of 803 pence.