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Intel to buy Infineon's wireless group for $1.4 billion

updated 07:30 am EDT, Mon August 30, 2010

Intel buys Infineon unit for 3G notebooks, tablets

Intel on Monday confirmed its plans to buy Infineon's wireless division for $1.4 billion in cash. The deal will see the Wireless Solutions group work as a stand-alone company on Intel's behalf and will give the company access to both 3G chipsets and a faster path to LTE-based 4G. It plans to use these not only for full-size notebooks but also Atom-based smartphones and tablets.

Infineon claimed the selloff was a win as it allowed a new focus on car, industrial and security technology. The sale is widely known to be prompted by the company's struggles with making its wireless section profitable.

The deal should be finished by early 2011.

In an attempt to head off concerns, Intel said the stand-alone nature of the wireless group would let it keep serving existing customers, including those who use ARM chips. Concerns had been raised that the buyout would be used to force Apple to seek alternate suppliers for 3G chipsets in the iPad and iPhone, although the iPhone 4 is exempt as it has switched away.

The acquisition follows the higher profile still acquisition of McAfee and reflects a concerted effort to make Intel relevant in the mobile arena through on-chip security and now full wireless hardware. ARM and companion chipset producers like Broadcom, Qualcomm and Skyworks have so far been dominating phones and tablets as Intel's Atom processors are still too large and power hungry to compete. HP is believed to have relegated its Windows tablet to enterprise as the Atom chip would give it just half the battery life of an ARM-based iPad or the similarly founded, upcoming webOS tablet.

Intel's plans are due to come together until 2011, when its Oak Trail platform for Atom chips should be efficient enough to be competitive.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Intel is at at or near its 52 week low

    and can still afford to pony up $1.4 billion for a buyout. Apple's got so much spare cash and they hardly spend a couple of hundred million for any purchases. Apple must be a very conservative company, indeed. I sure hope Apple is saving its money for some blockbuster purchase in the future. Hopefully, it'll become its own wireless carrier or something.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The last thing anyone wants is Apple becoming it's own wireless company. Nothing good can come from that. Wireless companies are hated by some people. Some will never go to Verizon (h***, there's some lunatic on MacNN who apparently is so opposed to CDMA he doesn't want any software he writes to be used on the network). Some have wanted an iPhone since day 1 but refuse to go to ATT.

    Does Apple really want to risk alienating a large population of potential customers due to the vagaries and whims of the telecommunications industry?

    Plus, people complain about how their phones are locked into their networks and the carriers control what they can put on it. The second Apple becomes a carrier, they're just another locked-in phone provider controlling what the customer can do.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Not to say there aren't a bunch of people who wouldn't waste a second to sign-up for an Apple wireless carrier. They'd be throwing their money at apple, just because it is apple.

    And with Apple being Apple, they'd also charge more for their service, claiming that you get what you pay for. And users would be "Yeah, I hardly have more than a couple of dropped calls a day!" and claim it's worth it.

    Of course, there are people who'll go on and on about how their iPhone can't make calls or loses signals, has stability issues, and then end "But I love it!".

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: oh

    >> ...there are people who'll go on and on about how their iPhone can't make calls or loses signals, has stability issues, and then end "But I love it!"

    What a sad phone. What a sad bunch of people.

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