Intel allies with ARM in new Mobile Communications business

On Monday, Intel Corp announced it had completed the $1.4 Billion acquisition of Infineon AG's Wireless Solution business (WLS), to finally tie baseband processors into the company's CPU solutions. The WLS unit will be part of the new Intel Mobile Communications group, a standalone business unit within Intel's Architecture Group.

With the new portfolio of 2G, 3G and LTE baseband products acquired from WLS, Intel is going to move forward with a business to "serve a broader array of customers and market segments."

Intel has thus far remained outside of the radpidly growing mobile- and smartphone business, and continued to concentrate on improvements within the realm of personal computers. As it has done this, mobile applications processors based on the 32-bit ARM architecture have grown dramatically, and chipmakers such as Samsung, Texas Instruments, and Qualcomm have become strong competitors.

At CES 2011, the momentum behind ARM chips was solidified when Microsoft announced the next version of Windows will support ARM, and when graphics company Nvidia announced it is making its first GPU/CPU hybrid chip based on ARM Cortex A15 processors.

For Intel to grow in the mobile sector, it must broaden its purview.

"As we enter an era of multi-communication solutions, IMC's products and technologies will be integral to connecting a breadth of Intel and ARM-based mobile devices. We are truly excited to be a part of this growth," said Dr. Hermann Eul, President of Intel Mobile Communications in a statement Monday.

IMC will continue WLS' business of wireless and cellular platforms, and also add support for Intel Core and Atom-based application processor platforms, as well as ARM-based products.

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