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Atmel Corporation (ATML - Analyst Report) and Wasion Group – supplier of advanced energy metering products and solutions – recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop smart electricity meters and data concentrators, deploying its highly integrated power line communication (PLC) solutions.

Through this agreement, Wasion Group will leverage the in-depth expertise of Atmel’s smart metering technologies to accelerate the development and faster roll-out of smart metering solutions.

According to Pike Research - a market research firm, China is the fastest growing market for smart meters and has witnessed the installation of 17.9 million smart meters since the second quarter of 2012. The partnership between Atmel and Wasion will prove to be beneficial in worldwide markets, driven by cost-effective PRIME narrowband PLC technology. In this challenging environment, the mutual efforts by both companies would lead to synergistic benefits and will ultimately help them in meeting their energy and environmental policy goals.

The partnership will jointly develop products with lower system costs and sensitivity to meet smart meter requirements.

Atmel is in the process of transforming itself into a microcontroller-based company, which it believes will augment its cost structure and unlock value. The company is focusing more on its core microcontroller business by introducing the latest products with the aim of targeting high-growth and high-margin businesses.

Based in San Jose, California, Atmel designs, develops, manufactures and sells integrated circuit (IC) products. These products include microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, non-volatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. The company has released a substantial number of new products in the past few quarters, which will benefit the business during industrial recovery.

Atmel currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a long-term Outperform recommendation. One of its competitors, Texas Instruments Inc (TXN - Analyst Report) also carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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