Renesas acquires NFC specialist Panthronics

  • March 29, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Japanese electronics giant Renesas has acquired Panthronics, an Austrian fabless semiconductor company specialising in wireless products, in an all-cash transaction.

The acquisition will enrich Renesas’ portfolio of connectivity technology, extending its reach into high-demand near-field communications (NFC) applications in fintech, IoT, asset tracking, wireless charging and automotive.

NFC has emerged as a de facto standard in the digital economy and touches many aspects of daily life. Fintech, such as mobile point-of-sale (mPoS) terminals and contactless payment, IoT, asset tracking, and wireless charging are highlights of NFC’s increasing presence.

Headquartered in Graz, Austria, Panthronics has been offering NFC chipsets and software that are easy to apply, innovative, small-in-size and efficient for payment, IoT and NFC wireless charging.

Renesas and Panthronics have been addressing the rising demand of NFC as partners since 2018. Acquiring Panthronics’ NFC technology will provide Renesas with in-house capability to capture growing and emerging market opportunities for NFC.

Combining Panthronics’ NFC technology with Renesas’ portfolio and security functions in microcontrollers and microprocessors should provide its customers with options to create innovative, ready-to-market NFC systems.

Renesas and Panthronics have already launched four joint designs of NFC systems to date. These cater for mPoS terminals, wireless charging and wall box smart metering platforms. The companies have also developed an NFC connectivity board that is integrated into the Renesas Quick-Connect Studio ecosystem, which allows users to add features quickly and easily to MCU development boards.

This enables a plug-and-play addition of high-end NFC connectivity. Several more systems for PoS, IoT, wireless charging and mobile are in development. Furthermore, the merits of Panthronics’ technology are also expected to be leveraged for Renesas’ automotive products, such as digital key management.

“Connectivity has been a priority area of ours, expanding and differentiating the realm of what we offer,” said Hidetoshi Shibata, CEO of Renesas. “We see tremendous opportunities for Panthronics’ NFC connectivity technology to benefit our customers in growing areas that span across fintech, IoT and automotive spheres.”

The acquisition has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of Renesas and is expected to close by the end of this year, subject to required regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.