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Fujitsu Wireless acquired by Intel

Posted: 16 Aug 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel  Tempe  Fujitsu Semiconductor Wireless  LTE RF transceiver 

Intel has reportedly acquired Tempe, Arizona-based subsidiary of Fujitsu Semiconductor Wireless that developed an advanced multi-mode LTE RF transceiver.

The acquisition, reported this week by Will Strauss, the president and principal analyst of Forward Concepts in Mesa, Arizona, was confirmed by an Intel spokesman in an email to EE Times. The spokesman said Intel made the acquisition to expand its mobile capabilities.

In an email newsletter to clients, Strauss said the move was "very important," because it gave Intel access to the mobile communications transceiver and design team he had previously described as probably the best stand-alone RF team in the world. Intel likely would have made such a move to help it win design slots in mobile equipment such as smartphones and tablet computers.

The RF team's lineage goes back from Fujitsu to Freescale Semiconductor and before that to Motorola's semiconductor product sector.

Strauss said the latest RF transceiver includes such features as antenna tuning, envelope tracking, and an internal DSP that supports any application processor, including those that implement the x86 instruction set architecture. Of even greater interest may be what the team is working on: an RF chip for LTE-Advanced supporting carrier aggregation of traffic.

In the newsletter, Strauss said that Intel had not made any formal announcement of the Fujitsu acquisition, probably because it did not wish to embarrass its wireless business unit based on its 2011 acquisition of Infineon's wireless business unit for about Rs.8,383.23 crore ($1.4 billion). That group brought a healthy business in 2G and 3G RF transceivers to Intel. It is shipping a multi-mode LTE RF transceiver, but not a much needed LTE modem. However, it seems that any overlap has not deterred Intel from acquiring the Arizona group.

The Intel spokesman said the company does not typically do formal announcements around acquisitions such as this. "Don't read too much into that," the spokesman said via email.

- Peter Clarke
  EE Times

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