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Intel buys wireless chipmaker

Intel has acquired Mobilian, a maker of dual-functionality wireless local area network (WLan) and Bluetooth chipsets.

The deal will enable Intel to enter the wireless networking chip market faster, said an Intel spokesman.

The company plans to incorporate certain Mobilian offerings including the Mobilian chipset, offering integrated WLan and Bluetooth for various computing platforms, such as wireless handhelds.

The Mobilian chipset would, for example, enable a mobile phone user to make a voice call using Bluetooth technology to power the phone handset and use WLan technology to stream the data over a wireless connection.

Intel said Mobilian’s 70 employees will become part of Intel’s Wireless Networking Group.

John Yunker, analyst with Pyramid Research Group, said Intel clearly sees itself bundling increased functionality onto its wireless chipsets.

"It is part of [Intel’s] broader vision of betting big on wireless," Yunker said. "I think acquisitions generally make sense for them because they have been criticised for not having the expertise they need to compete effectively in this game."

Yunker explained that there is a market demand for Bluetooth on handsets because of the technology’s low-power consumption versus Wi-Fi’s power drain.

He noted that Intel has expressed plans to get its chipsets into the handset market and, in order to be successful, Intel would need Bluetooth support, which makes the Mobilian acquisition a smart move for the company.

Carly Suppa writes for ITWorldCanada.com


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