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Intel is close to buying Infineon's wireless division

Plots its assault on the mobile market
Fri Aug 27 2010, 11:46

CHIPMAKER Intel is getting close to splashing out the cash once again as reports are claiming that the firm is close to buying Infineon's wireless division.

Fresh from announcing that it will spend $7.68 billion to buy insecurity outfit McAfee, it seems that Intel wants more. Bloomberg reports that Chipzilla will have to fork over around $1.9 billion for Infineon's wireless division. Though it isn't a done deal, three people directly involved in the negotiations said that both parties are "close to an agreement".

Intel has made it known that it wants to have its chips in more devices. While the firm does well in the desktop, laptop and server markets, in the embedded mobile market, Intel is absent. Should its acquisition of Infineon's wireless division go through, Intel would have access to wireless technologies allowing it to slot in a wireless core for any chip destined for mobile phones.

Intel's acquisition could, as we predicted, be another step in positioning the company to take on ARM, the British chip design house that licenses its products to the majority of phone makers. It should be noted that Infineon's wireless unit also flogs its chips to many smartphone vendors, so Intel would get immediate presence in the market should it buy the outfit.

Whether or not Intel actually wants to get into the embedded mobile market is another matter, but given the market's high growth in recent years the company can't really afford to dismiss such a profitable part of the industry. It is unlikely that any of these acquisitions will lead to Intel actually selling phones, however an acquisition of Infineon wireless will all but cement the firm's aspirations to try and muscle in on the mobile market. µ


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