Infineon Technologies’ Wireless Solution business has been acquired by Intel for approximately $1.4 billion, the companies announced late last night. The move comes just weeks after Intel’s announcement to buy McAfee for $7.68 billion, while also working on a deal to acquire the Texus Instruments’ cable modem division.
What’s all this mean? Intel plans to step up to smartphone production in a big way. Their acquisition of the Infineon’s Wireless Solutions (WLS) business will recover their ability to produce complete end-to-end solutions for smartphones. Once owners of their very own communication chips, Intel sold this portion of their business to Marvell back in 2006. That may have been the best move for them at the time, however now in a world of iPads and iPhone 4s with Infineon technology tucked inside, to compete with Qualcomm and ST-Ericsson Intel will need the ability to develop FM, GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth products all in one, the complete smartphone package.
“The global demand for wireless solutions continues to grow at an extraordinary rate. The acquisition of Infineon’s WLS (Wireless Solutions) business strengthens the second pillar of our computing strategy–Internet connectivity–and enables us to offer a portfolio of products that covers the full range of wireless options from Wi-Fi and 3G to WiMax and LTE (4G).” Intel CEO Paul Otellini said in a statement.
Alongside wireless, Infineon manufacturers automobile logic chips, machines and in security solutions, such as passports. They have no immediate plans to sell off any remaining divisions of their company.
Intel’s move appears to strengthen the fact that the PC market is on shaky ground, evolution of their company is a requirement, and Intel has no problem making the necessary changes. It’s a smartphone world, and Intel wants to be inside.