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Intel buys ST Ericsson's navigation chip business for smartphones and tablets

Navigation chip to end up in portable devices
Wed May 29 2013, 13:28
An Intel logo on a piece of equipment

CHIPMAKER Intel has bought ST Ericsson's Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) business for an undisclosed sum.

As ST Ericsson continues to mull ways in which to split up the joint venture between chipmaker ST Microelectronics and telecoms equipment giant Ericsson, it clearly is happy to flog parts of the business to rivals. ST Ericsson said it had sold its GNSS business to another semiconductor firm but wouldn't name which one, until Intel confirmed that it was the outfit that made the purchase.

According to ST Ericsson, the sale of its GNSS business will reduce the firm's costs by $90m. Intel on the other hand told The INQUIRER that 130 workers, some of whom are based in Daventry, UK, will continue to work at their present location but will become part of the firm's Wireless Platform research and development organisation that in turn is part of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group.

Intel also shed some light on what it will do with GNSS, telling The INQUIRER that the unit has been working on a CG2000 chip that supports China's Beidou satellite system. The chipmaker said that the CG2000 chip will be part of its 2015 product range for smartphones, tablets and laptops and will also be offered as a standalone chip.

ST Ericsson CEO and president Carlo Ferro said "Today's transaction validates the leading innovation developed by ST Ericsson in mobile navigation systems and marks a further important step towards the execution of our shareholders' decision to exit from ST Ericsson.

"I am pleased that this organization will continue to develop leading-edge technologies and delighted that the team found a new home at a leading player in the semiconductor industry."

Intel did not disclose how much it paid ST Ericsson for GNSS, however it seems that ST Ericsson was happy to offload $90m from its books as it struggles to compete in the application processor market. µ

 

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