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Thursday, 05 August 2010 09:45

Intel most likely to buy Infineon

Written by Nick Farell
intel_logo_new

Even if it is not the best buyer
Strokers of beards and people in the know on Wall Street claim that the maker of chips and bits, Intel is still the most likely buyer for Infineon's wireless business. Most agree that while it would be a lot better for the the world if Broadcom bought the outfit, and Samsung is interested, Infineon is mostly likely end up as part of Intel's glorous empire.

Infineon said earlier this week it is making progress in discussions to sell its wireless group which generated about $1.2 billion in sales last year. That represents about a third of total revenues at Infineon which is seeking to focus on its larger and more profitable automotive chip business.

Market analyst Will Strauss, who is the principal of Forward Concepts said it was too expensive for Broadcom, but it would be better if it got it. Broadcom probably understands the wireless market better than Intel does now or will anytime soon, he told EETimes.

Intel has the cash to buy the Infineon chip unit, especially now that it has ended a long standing antitrust investigation from the US Federal Trade Commission without being slapped with a fine.
It will mean that Intel will finally have the technology to get into smartphone business with a mobile  applications processor.

Infineon supplies 3G cellular modems and RF transceivers to all Apple iPhones and iPads. It would also make Apple an Intel customer as Jobs' Mob provides 40 percent of the Infineon group's business.

Apple has moved to Intel for all its computer processors, but so far has used ARM-based chips from Samsung and others in its mobile systems. The chance of locking in Jobs Mob might be tempting for Samsung too, but the problem is that the rest of Infineon's customers are its top competitors such as LG Electronics and Nokia.

Nick Farell

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