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Intel strengthened its mobile and embedded technology portfolio, announcing
it will buy Infineon Technologies’ Wireless Solutions business for $1.4
billion. The deal gives Intel more of what it needs to play in what Intel calls
the connected computing space that includes smartphones, laptops and embedded
computing.

Most industry-watchers agree that mobility is the key for technology vendors
in the future, as more smartphones are sold than PCs.

"The global demand for wireless solutions continues to grow at an
extraordinary rate," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO,
in a prepared statement. "The acquisition of Infineon’s WLS
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 WiFi and 3G to WiMax and LTE. As more
devices compute and connect to the Internet, we are committed to positioning
Intel to take advantage of the growth potential in every computing segment,
from laptops to handhelds and beyond."

Intel’s purchase follows the chip giant’s announcement earlier this month of
plans to acquire software security vendor McAfee, fueling speculation that
Intel plans to bring security into the silicon and use it to provide what’s
missing in many smartphones and embedded devices: rock-solid security.

>>Intel,
McAfee Deal: Quick Takeaways

>>Intel, McAfee Deal: What It Means for Channel Partner

>>Intel, McAfee Deal: What Channel Partners Are Saying

Infineon said the sale of the WLS
business unit to Intel will help Infineon fully focus on its core segments of automotive,
industrial and multimarket, and chip card and security.

Intel said WLS will be operated as a
stand-alone business to ensure continuity of existing customer sales, projects
and support. That includes ARM-based
products as well as Intel-based application processor platforms with
leading-edge 3G slim modem solutions, Intel said. Intel has frequently competed
and often lost to ARM-based solutions in the
handset marketplace.

Intel said its goal with the WLS
acquisition is to expand its mobile and embedded product offerings to support
additional customers and market segments, including smartphones, tablets, netbooks,
notebooks and embedded computing devices.

"Through this effort, Intel will pair WLS’
best-in-class cellular technology with its core strengths to enable the
delivery of low-power, Intel-based platforms that combine its applications
processor with an expanded portfolio of wireless options—bringing together
Intel’s leadership in WiFi and WiMax with WLS’
leadership in 2G and 3G, and a combined path to accelerate 4G LTE," Intel
said in a statement.