back to article Intel to acquire wireless chipmaker for $1.4bn

Intel today announced an acquisition targeted at beefing up their stuttering efforts to become a player in the hottest segment of the consumer-electronics market: smartphones and other mobile internet-connectivity devices. "The global demand for wireless solutions continues to grow at an extraordinary rate," said Intel …


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  1. Mage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Hedging Bets

    A Centrino that has WiFi and 3G/LTE rather than Mobile WiMax?

    Last nail in WiMax Coffin?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      WiMax is already dead...

      The corpse is beginning to smell bad and hopefully it will be buried very soon.

      Sites in Africa that have used WiMax have moved to more reliable MAN technologoies. Like 802.11B/G/N and we now measure uptime in days and weeks instead of minutes and hours.

      Thank the goddess of data movement!

  2. Graham Bartlett

    "Remains to be seen"

    Or more likely, won't ever been seen. x86 has an enormous die size and is a total power hog. This isn't a criticism - it's designed for desktop and server applications, so power consumption has never really been an issue. Even on laptops, there's only very token efforts made to reduce power consumption by the CPU.

    In a mobile phone this just doesn't work. Not only is there the problem of extra demand from a battery which already isn't keeping up with ultra-bright VGA colour touchscreens, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS, but power usage is all dissipated as heat, and that heat needs to go somewhere. Into the user's crotch at 50 degC is not acceptable for most people!

  3. AlistairJ

    Coming late to the party

    Seems like Intel have been asleep and woken up late. The smartphone party is already in full swing, and it isn't playing the mobile WiMax tune. Seems like the Intel board are desperately trying to make it look like they know the way ahead, when in reality, their business is running out of steam.

    Smart move for Infineon to unload their perennially loss-making wireless division at a time when its apparent value is into 10 figures.

  4. something


    Till now, the greatest advantage for x86 was compatibility and software. But this is not true for the smartphone case which is dominated by ARM. Therefore what made x86 dominate other markets despite its technical merits does not exist in this case. As a result, Atom can't be simply on-par with ARM in terms of performance and energy consumption. It has to offer something significantly better.

    On the other hand, in smartphones and similar devices, it is not only the CPU core that matters. It is also everything else - either what is integrated on the same chip or external chips that communicate with each other. Especially for the first case (SoCs), ARM has an incredible ecosystem. Practically almost every IP core available has an interface to connect to the AMBA bus (or other ARM related buses). Intel is nowhere there and if it is not willing to license the Atom core and provide an open interconnect, it will be ill-positioned as it will have to do everything in house. Buying Infineon's WLS, it shows that it is working in this direction. Which is bad IMO.

    Last but certainly not least, smartphones manufacturers have a choice with ARM. There are ARM based SoCs by Qualcomm, TI, Freescale, Marvell, Samsung, etc etc and as such they are not vendor locked-in. This gives them flexibility, low prices, easy migration paths (software compatibility) and other advantages. Is this going to be true with Intel?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Infineon has the third largest market share in wireless chippery, behind number-one Qualcomm and number-two Texas Instruments."

    Well, Intel has been buying pieces of Infineon and TI lately... Looks like they want to become number two in the market to challenge Qualcomm. Obviously this has implications in the upcoming Intel versus ARM battle.

    I really hope ARM wins.

  6. Rob Dobs

    Damn, I would have paid a full $5 for them.....

    "the reasoning behind the $1.4 acquisition of the Wireless Solutions Business "


    Surely there is something missing here....

  7. Rob Dobs

    Anti-Compettive Much?

    On a more serious note... Has the FTC/SEC etc examined this deal to ensure that it in some way BENEFITS consumer choice and competition? If it does not, then they should reject the deal on the ground of being anti-competitive....time to use the teeth these monopoly busting laws already have in place!!!!.

    We need to re-examine as a society the very intricate negative aspects of allowing a corporate entity (not a real person) the ability to purchase their competition's business.

    It would seem inherent that this would be bad for competition and the general public, and that the competitor now with a monopoly, (or at best a less competitive market) would be the person who having the most to gain, would obviously pay the most to get rid of competition. If Business A is selling wireless chips, and Business B who also sells wireless chips want to cash out, then Business A should only be allowed to buy them if all these stipulations are met:

    * No Other company is willing to make a reasonably close offer (it can be less than what the potential monopolist would be willing to pay for a monopoly)

    * The company has some reason to need to sell their business. Financial hard times, a business owner wanting to retire or change careers, etc. Not just because their competitor would pay a handsome sum to remove competition from the market.

    * it can be shown that the local market cannot support both business, and the failure of one of them seems unavoidable.

    Two businesses owners should not be able to ignore and sneak around the anti monopoly laws by colluding together to circumvent them.

    Say a small town has two Gas stations A and B. If the owner of Station B wants to sell, it is much better for everyone in town (except for the owner of A) to have competition with prices for Gas. Sure you can argue that Station A has a right to own both stations, but in a totally free society he could also own all the land for houses, and just rent etc. Eventually one mans freedom of business becomes another mans dictator. Eventually people won't put with it and will move. I know if the town I lived in allowed Gas to go up %50 because some jerk was allowed to buy both stations I would move to a town where they didn't let people act like jerks like that.

    The net result will be that yes you can have your rights on the extreme side of letting people be jerks to each others, but free to be jerks, and eventually you have a town full of jerks.

    On the other hand if you set rules for your society that you have to be somewhat fair and reasonable in your dealings with those around you, you will start to have a more pleasant society to live in.

    So it should be pretty obvious, let people create and sell businesses as they see fit, but they can't start business just to sell them to Google, M$ or Intel. If you start to examine the patents that companies collect by buying their competition, and then LOCKING people out of researching and developing in these intellectual areas, it is very costly.

    And yes don't ever think that IP and copyright is anything other than curbing learning and sharing of knowledge.

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