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Intel's surprise mobile acquisition?

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Fujitsu Wireless has developed probably the most advanced multimode LTE RF transceiver

USA: Late last month, Intel quietly acquired Tempe, Arizona-based Fujitsu Semiconductor Wireless. To my knowledge, no news announcement has been made, but this is a very important move for Intel as Fujitsu Wireless had developed probably the most advanced multimode LTE RF transceiver available in the open market.

The operation traces its lineage through Freescale Semiconductor, the previous owner, and earlier Motorola Semiconductor. Intel has acquired a truly seasoned technical staff, now probably their most seasoned US-based wireless talent.

Why no news release? I suspect that Intel was not eager to embarrass its former-Infineon staff in Germany, which has been the major player in 2G/3G RF Transceivers and has shipped a multimode LTE RF Transceiver (but not an LTE modem) in selected Motorola Droid smartphones. In my February 2012 profile of the Fujitsu operation, I stated "[the operation] still remains as probably the best stand-alone RF team in the world."

The new Intel operation's latest RF Transceiver product includes advanced features like Antenna Tuning and Envelope Tracking. With its internal DSP that also supports smart antennas, device support for any application processor is accommodated (even an X86...wink, wink).

The team has been busy working on the next-gen LTE-Advanced solution preparing for Carrier Aggregation designs. It now appears that Intel's wireless geographic center of gravity has shifted a bit.

The author is president and principal analyst, Forward Concepts, USA.

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