LONDON – Intel has been revealed as the purchaser of the connectivity and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) business unit of ST-Ericsson NV (Geneva, Switzerland), a failed joint venture in mobile phone chips.
ST-Ericsson is due to be closed down in the third quarter of 2013 at an expected cost to parent of STMicroelectronics NV of between $350 million and $450 million. Although no price was given for the sale ST did say it would reduce the cost of closing ST-Ericsson by about $90 million through the combination of cash received and the avoidance of employee redundancy payments and other restructuring costs.
The deal extends Intel's position in the mobile chip business, an area that it is eager to penetrate.
In addition to the assets and IPR associated with this business, a team of 130 industry veterans located in Daventry, England, Bangalore, India and Singapore are expected to Intel's wireless platform R&D (WPRD) organization at the closing of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and is close in August.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.