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Intel acquires Zarlink's digital broadcast business

Posted: 11 Oct 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:intel? zarlink? digital broadcast? ip? home consumer electronics?

Intel Corp. has agreed to acquire the digital broadcast business and IP of troubled chipmaker Zarlink Semiconductor Ltd, to strengthen its platform solution offerings for home consumer electronics.

The deal is worth $70 million, according to a Canadian press report.

Under the acquisition, Intel would receive the Radiofrequency (RF) Front-End Consumer Business of Zarlink (Ottawa, Canada). The business, based in the United Kingdom, provides demodulation and tuner technologies to the satellite, terrestrial and cable market segments.

The demodulators and tuners enable consumer electronics devices to receive a digital signal, extract the audio and video streams, decompress, and then either display or store the resulting image and audio broadcast.

The move is Intel's latest to penetrate the consumer electronics arena. In February, Intel acquired Oplus Technologies, a fabless provider of video processing products and technologies for digital television and digital displays, for $100 million, according to venture capital firm Giza Venture Capital.

"The transition to digital products across the entertainment and CE industries is accompanied by changes in the underlying technology and delivery infrastructure," said Glenda Dorchak, vice president, Digital Home Group and general manager, Consumer Electronics Group, Intel, in a statement. "Demodulation and tuner technologies are two key ingredients in this infrastructure and play an increasingly critical role in a broad range of consumer electronics devices. The addition of this technology and expertise complements Intel's CE roadmap and development plans."

For Zarlink, the acquisition signals the downsizing of the unprofitable communications chipmaker, which in May said it was seeking strategic alternatives for its business.

In February, Zarlink appointed Kirk Mandy president and chief executive, who promptly slashed 15 percent of the company's staff and cut some R&D programs.

- Spencer Chin

EE Times

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