Qorvo lands $75 million US government contract, acquires French UWB software firm

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Qorvo beats Wall Street earnings prediction by 18 percent in FQ4.
Image: Qorvo

Qorvo has already had a very productive November even though the month is only six days old. The chipmaker won a U.S. government contract worth up to $75 million to establish a new radiofrequency (RF) production complex. The firm also acquired a French ultra-wideband (UWB) software developer named 7Hugs Labs S.A.S.

Large Government Contract

The Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division, awarded Qorvo its multimillion-dollar manufacturing contract.

The organization launched a project to team with American semiconductor companies to expand the U.S. government’s electronic components production resources. With this contract, it wanted a partner capable of building a plant that could facilitate the design, development, and manufacture of cutting-edge RF parts.

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As an industry leader with a Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) Category 1A certification, Qorvo fits the bill.

The Navy’s State-of-the-Art (SOTA) Heterogeneous Integrated Packaging (SHIP) initiative will require the Greensboro, North Carolina-based firm to bring all of its expertise to bear.

The program calls for creating a center capable of fabricating next-generation RF components. The government wants its center’s parts to power military drones, satellite communication systems, and “electronic warfare platforms.” That means the complex’s output will have to adhere to exacting size, weight, power, and cost standards.

Qorvo has 35 years of foundry experience and industry-leading RF research and development resources. Those qualities make it an ideal provider to fulfill this particular defense contract.

7Hugs Purchase

On that subject, the chipmaker greatly expanded its knowledge base and intellectual property portfolio by purchasing 7Hugs.

Founded in 2014, the Paris-based startup made its name by developing a leading-edge UWB technology stack. Its development of the short-range, high-bandwidth communications protocol enabled it to develop a handheld device called the SmartRemote. With it, users can precisely and simply control their connected home utilities, including TV, lights, and streaming services.

7Hugs described its initial offering as a “magic wand,” and its extensive functionality comes close to living up to that description. The smart device is compatible with Apple TV, Roku, Spotify, and Philips Hue platforms, among others. The next generation universal remote also has indoor positioning and orientation tracking capability, so it does not require constant recalibration.

Although the firm’s first retail product has shipped to over 70 countries, it is only the tip of the iceberg. 7Hugs’ website notes its technology has applications in the automotive, security, and gaming industries.

In a press release, Qorvo intends to use its new acquisition’s technology to develop new communications and location projects. The corporation also mentioned the startup’s tech would help it expand its footprint in the Internet of Things and connected device sectors.

As part of the transaction, Qorvo’s mobile products division will take on 7Hugs’ 35 staff members. In February, the corporation purchased Decawave, a UWB chipmaker that had a partnership with the startup. That pre-existing relationship will likely help the post-acquisition integration process go smoothly.

Neither company disclosed financial details regarding the deal.

Thanks to its new agreements, Qorvo secured a significant capital infusion and snapped up some valuable new resources. That means the firm now has everything it needs to introduce some groundbreaking new products in the future.

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