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Will Intel buy Infineon wireless?

Posted: 06 Aug 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless? acquisition?

Samsung, another company expected to be in the bidding, is a less suitable suitor for Infineon. That's because it is a top provider of cellphones in the U.S. and elsewhere, making it an unlikely source of handset silicon for top competitors such as LG Electronics and Nokia, Strauss said.

Nokia is the world's largest handset maker with 2009 revenues of $54.4 billion, according to the latest report from Forward Concepts. Samsung is a distant second at $25.9 billion, LG is third at $14.9 and Apple is a close fourth at $13.8 billion, the report said.

The shares are likely to shift with Apple leading the pack with 83 percent growth last year. LG was sixth in growth at 21 percent followed by Samsung at ninth with 16 percent growth. Nokia saw its share shrink about eight percent last year, the report said.

Samsung has the financial resources to buy the Infineon group. If it did it could surpass Intel to become the world's largest chip maker in revenues and cement its standing outside memory chips in the rapidly growing market for mobile silicon. That could galvanize the already rising competition between Intel and Samsung as semiconductor rivals.

Small LTE baseband companies could feel the pinch if Intel buys the Infineon group because it includes the Comneon unit which licenses 3G software, Strauss said. "Intel has never entertained the licensing model as part of its chip business and would likely shutter the Comneon operation, just as Motorola did after they purchased TTPCom's 3G licensing business," Strauss wrote in his newsletter.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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