Smartphone pursuit leads Intel to Infineon's wireless unit

The growing market for broadband-enabled smartphones--and in turn the growing market to put silicon into those devices--has led Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) to spend $1.4 billion to acquire Infineon Technologies' (NYSE: IFX) Wireless Solutions business. The acquisition "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," Paul Ortellini, Intel's CEO said in a prepared statement.

Infineon reportedly ranked fourth in shipments of wireless broadband silicon last year, supplies Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Samsung, among other major smartphone makers. Intel, of course, is one of the joint venture partners of the Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR) 4G mobile WiMAX play.

Intel is getting to be as acquisitive as Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO). Recently, the chipmaker bought security software provider McAfee (NYSE: MFE) (which supplies its wares to Comcast Business (Nasdaq: CMCSA), among others in the cable industry) for a cool $7.68 billion. It's also in the process of trying to buy Texas Instruments' (NYSE: TXN) cable modem unit. The entire range of activity is aimed at making Intel's somewhat static chips business more mobile--literally--as broadband moves out of the computer and into the roving device.

For more:
- see this story
- and this press announcement

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