SAN FRANCISCOA report is circulating that Intel Corp. plans to purchase Freescale Semiconductor's wireless operations in Toulouse, France.
The report was circulated in the Sept. 24 issue of Forward Concepts Inc.'s wireless/DSP newsletter, which cited a French newspaper as the original source.
In the newsletter, Forward Concept principal analyst Will Strauss adds credence to the report, saying, "We think the story has legs, since it's clear that Intel desperately wants to get back in to the cellular chip business, if for no other reason than to beef up 3G capability for its fast-growing netbook and MID chip business."
Strauss added that Intel does not want to be beholden to wireless chip heavyweight Qualcomm Inc., which is going head-to-head with the No. 1 chipmaker's Atom processor with its own ARM-based Snapdragon.
Freescale's Toulouse operations have been in the news recently because of worker unrest, as employees fearful of losing their jobs have staged several protests. Freescale said earlier this year it would close a fab at the site.
Strauss attributed the report to La Depeche du Midi, a French-language newspaper based in Toulouse.