SRI buys wireless IP company

SRI International Inc. is acquiring PacketHop Inc., a provider of wireless IP video networks, mesh communications systems and multimedia applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SRI said its management and innovation expertise will help PacketHop expand into new and emerging markets, pursue current business opportunities and explore new avenues for its technology and products in the consumer, enterprise and government markets. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2007.

Since 2003, PacketHop of Redwood City, Calif., has installed mesh-based communications, including video surveillance, for municipal government, transportation and public safety in Lakewood, N.J., Long Beach, Calif., San Francisco and elsewhere.

Mesh technology turns every radio in a network into a router, allowing communications to travel from one device to another automatically. A mesh network theoretically becomes stronger as more devices and users join it.

Founded in 1946 as Stanford Research Institute, SRI of Menlo Park, Calif., was the initial investor in PacketHop, and granted the company broad rights to several of its wireless mesh networking patents. PacketHop's existing investors ? U.S. Venture Partners, Mayfield, ComVentures and GF Private Equity Group ? will continue to have a financial interest in the company.

SRI, a nonprofit research and development organization, ranks No. 99 on Washington Technology's 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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