Sony said Tuesday it is buying modem chip maker Altair Semiconductor for $212 million. Altair develops and sells long term evolution (LTE) modem chips. The Hod Hasharon, Israel-headquartered company also has offices in the U.S., China, Taiwan, Japan and India. The company, which has around 220 employees, was founded by former Texas Instruments executives Oded Melamed, Yigal Bitran and Eran Eshed in 2005. 'LTE is already widely used in data communication for mobile phones, and is also expected to play a pivotal role in the interconnection of the Internet of Things,' Sony said in Tuesday's announcement. 'Going forward, more and more ‘things' are expected to be equipped with cellular chipsets, realizing a connected environment in which 'things' can reliably and securely access network services that leverage the power of cloud computing.'