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Foxconn buys Leuven-based 5G specialist arQana

19 April 2022

The well-known Taiwanese tech company Foxconn becomes the owner of Leuven-based chip developer arQana via an acquisition.

Hon Hai Precision Industry, as Foxconn is officially called, is taking over the wireless communication activities of arQana, which has offices in Taiwan and Leuven.

ArQana specializes in the development of components for 5G infrastructure. The company was founded in 2017 by Flemish tech entrepreneur Glenn Vandevoorde, with funding from Asian investors. ArQana established its headquarters in Taiwan, home to major chip manufacturers, and moved its research and development to Heverlee near Leuven, in the backyard of chip research institute Imec.

Foxconn is merging the acquired operations with its U.S. subsidiary AchernarTek and renaming the merged company iCana. Vandevoorde and his management team will continue to lead that new company. The Flemish entrepreneur is not in his prime. He previously founded semiconductor company Future Waves in 2005, which was sold to Toumaz Technology in 2009.

iCana profiles itself as a global supplier of wireless semiconductor components that can be used in 5G infrastructure and in the automotive industry, among others. Vandevoorde calls the acquisition by Foxconn a good thing because it will allow products to get to market faster. He cites connected electric cars as one of the first important new markets that can be addressed with Foxconn's help.

This is the first time Foxconn has made an acquisition in our country. Foxconn is one of the largest electronics companies in the world that became best known as the low-cost manufacturer of Apple's iPhones. The company is headquartered in Taiwan, but has large factories in mainland China.

The Belgian operations of arQana are in full growth. The company has nine employees, but is looking for about fifteen new people. Next month it will move to a larger office in the center of Leuven, with expanded lab space.

Source: De Tijd, translated by Leuven MindGate

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