Murata Pays $68M for Arctic Sand, to Combine with Peregrine Semi

Japan’s Murata Manufacturing has acquired Arctic Sand Technologies of Burlington, MA, and plans to combine Arctic Sand’s low-power semiconductor technology with its San Diego-based subsidiary, Peregrine Semiconductor. The purchase price was $68 million, according to a Peregrine spokeswoman.

Arctic Sand, an MIT spinout founded in 2010, has developed semiconductor technology that consolidates a number of board-level power components onto a single chip for use in mobile devices, data centers, and LCD displays.

Murata already was a venture investor in Arctic Sand, and led the company’s $19 million Series B financing last year. Arctic Sand had raised a total of at least $28.6 million from venture investors that also include GE Ventures, Arsenal Venture Partners, and Northwater Capital.

Murata plans to integrate Arctic Sand with Peregrine, a specialist in wireless silicon-on-sapphire semiconductor technology that Murata acquired in late 2014 for roughly $471 million. Peregrine has 496 employees worldwide, including 414 at its San Diego headquarters.

The Peregrine spokeswoman said there will be “no particular changes” for Arctic Sand, which had 26 employees at the end of December, and will continue to operate in Burlington, Silicon Valley, and Taiwan.

Murata and Peregrine plan to add Arctic Sand’s low-power semiconductors to Murata’s existing product lineup, expanding the companies’ power module business. By consolidating multiple power components on a single chip, Arctic Sand’s semiconductor technology is more energy-efficient and enables electronics manufacturers in wireless telecommunications, data communications, and industrial electrical markets to shrink the size of their products. Arctic Sand is expected to benefit from Peregrine’s expertise in silicon-on-sapphire semiconductor design and Murata’s experience in inductors, capacitors, and packaging.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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