CELL PHONE FORAY | Deal involves purchase of German company INTEL CONTINUES EXPANSION
struggling personal computer market.
Intel has tried with limited success to get its chips into cell phones. It is hoping to change that by buying Infineon’s wireless business, which makes chips for smart phones such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone.
It’s a problem Intel is urgently trying to fix because the smart phone market is too lucrative for Intel to remain a bit player.
Intel’s chips are criticized as being too power-hungry for today’s smart phones. The Infi- neon deal would give Intel technical know-how to make chips for small devices that don’t drain batteries as quickly. That expertise is particularly needed for chips built around the lowpower ARM architecture, which is widely used in cell phones.
The deal, which requires regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.
On Aug. 19, Intel announced plans to buy security software maker McAfee Inc. for $7.68 billion in what would be the biggest acquisition in Intel’s 42- year history once it gains the expected approvals. As mobile phones become increasingly enticing targets for hackers, security companies have been developing ways to protect those devices. With McAfee, Intel would be able to bake security into its mobile chips — including those from Infineon.
Both deals signal a shift away from Intel’s traditional market of providing chips to power personal computers. The PC market is on shaky ground again af-