Intel knows that there's more to the new computing world than just CPUs and chipsets, so it has decided to go full force into wireless technologies through an acquisition of Infineon’s Wireless Solutions (WLS) business in a cash transaction valued at approximately $1.4 billion.
WLS will operate as a standalone business serving its existing customers, largely comprised of phone makers (yes, including those using ARM chips). The new addition of WLS to Intel will add to the chipmaker's strategy in smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and embedded computing devices.
WLS will add to Intel wireless mobility and cellular platforms for smart phones and ultra-low-cost, entry phones. WLS provides baseband processors, radio-frequency transceivers, power management integrated circuits, additional connectivity features, single-chip solutions as well as the corresponding system software.
With annual revenue of Euro 917 million, WLS was approximately 30 percent of Infineon’s total annual revenue of Euro 3.03 billion in the past financial year.
"The global demand for wireless solutions continues to grow at an extraordinary rate," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "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 Wi-Fi 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."
The sale of WLS also helps out Infineon too, as now the company can concentrate more on its energy efficiency, mobility and security solutions.
"The sale of WLS is a strategic decision to enhance Infineon's value. We can now fully concentrate our resources towards strong growth in our core segments Automotive (ATV), Industrial & Multimarket (IMM) and Chip Card & Security (CCS). This creates a great perspective for all Infineon customers, employees and shareholders," said Peter Bauer, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG. "We all stand to benefit enormously from this deal. Thanks to the outstanding effort of the employees and the management during the last years, WLS is excellently positioned to grow further with the new owner who is ideally suited for this business."
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011, subject to certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.