Oulu the ideal location for Altair Semiconductor

The developer of high-performance chipsets was earlier this year acquired by Sony Corporation.

Altair Semiconductor, a leading developer of high-performance chipsets for Long Term Evolution (LTE), has announced the opening of a new research and product development centre in Oulu, Northern Finland, as the first step of its expansion into Europe.

The Israel-based chipset provider says its new centre will focus on developing core LTE technology for the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Finland is the ideal location to begin Altair's expansion into Europe, given the country's significant IoT, connectivity and general innovation talent,” Oded Melamed, the chief executive of Altair Semiconductor, says in a press release.

The research and product development centre is initially expected to provide employment to approximately two dozen engineers.

Oulu is known particularly for its expertise and market leadership in wireless communication technologies. Almost ten per cent of its roughly 200,000 residents are presently employed in the high-tech sector,  making it a truly unique hotspot for cutting-edge wireless and wearable technology.

The development of the high-tech sector is duly a priority for BusinessOulu, a business development agency established by the City of Oulu.

Markku Lehikoinen, a senior advisor at Invest in Finland, interprets the city's selection as the location for the centre as yet another indication of the global recognition enjoyed by the telecommunications expertise possessed by Finland.

“It shows that we've got an ecosystem that's attractive and capable of developing new things,” he says. “It's not only about the workforce, but also about the fact that there are other companies and research institutions in the sector here.”

“Nokia, MediaTek, Nordic Semiconductor and Spreadtrum, among others, are also designing telecoms chipsets and products in Oulu. The University [of Oulu]'s Centre for Wireless Communications is a world-class research centre for radio technology. The Centre for Wireless Communications, along with the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), has had a key role in bringing Oulu to the forefront of 5G network development.”

Both Oulu and Finland, Lehikoinen says, are ready to welcome more companies to benefit from their strong telecoms ecosystems.

Altair Semiconductor was earlier this year acquired by Sony Corporation. The acquisition, it said, will enable it to leverage the capabilities of the technology giant while preserving its agile and dynamic business culture.