Stan Bolan at the 'Follow the Entrepreneur' Summit 2012
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Published on Jul 25, 2012
Stan Boland is Senior Vice President, Mobile Communications at NVIDIA Corporation, having joined the Company on its acquisition of Icera Inc. in June 2011.After a degree in Physics from Cambridge University, Stan's early career was at Rolls-Royce (aerospace), Bell Resources (industrial holding), Bricom (industrial holding) and ICL (computers) before he joined Acorn Computers in 1997 and was appointed CEO in 1998.
He represented Acorn as a Board member of ARM Holdings through its IPO, subsequently sold Acorn to Morgan Stanley for $440M and then he span out and led a processor-based ADSL chipset business, Element 14 Inc, from Acorn. Element 14 built the world's highest performance ADSL chipsets (fixed line broadband) based on a new processor core and was acquired in November 2000 by Broadcom Corporation for $640M, returning a staggering 32x to investors; Stan was then appointed VP/GM of Broadcom's DSL Business Unit and helped to secure first customers for the technology. That business is now world leader by far in DSL chipsets.
In 2002, Stan co-founded a new company, Icera Inc., and over a period of 9 years led the company as CEO as it developed and commercialized its first cellular communication modem chipsets based on a revolutionary baseband processor, raising $250M in venture capital to finance it. First products were launched in Japan in 2007, then Icera acquired Sirific Wireless -- a Dallas based startup - in 2008, adding Radio Frequency (RF) capabilities to its system offer and also acquired rights to the complex protocol software from TTPCom, a Cambridge-based company. Since full modem product offer was assembled, Icera focused on growing its market share and its chipsets are now used in over 120 different products approved on over 60 operators globally. Its biggest customers are in China and Taiwan and its technology is selected by Vodafone, Orange, AT&T and others.
Major competitors to Icera were Qualcomm, Intel - who acquired Infineon's modem business - and ST Ericsson, all of whom out-spent Icera and began to offer a system solution for handsets that includes the application processor as well as modem. In June 2011, NVIDIA Corporation acquired Icera Inc. for $367M - returning an average 1.32x to investors - plus an undisclosed retention plan for Icera staff. NVIDIA has recently announced the first Android handsets using Icera® modem technology alongside its Tegra™ Application Processor, as well as plans to integrate both technologies onto a single chip. The combination of TEGRA™ with Icera® now positions the combined company as probably the strongest long-term competitor to the behemoth Qualcomm Inc in the highly competitive market for cellular handset chipsets. NVIDIA is recruiting staff in all Icera centres and is increasing the pace of investment.
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