LONDON —Intel Corp. confirmed that it acquired last month Fujitsu Semiconductor Wireless Products Inc. (FSWP), the Tempe, Ariz.-based subsidiary of Fujitsu that developed an advanced multimode LTE RF transceiver. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition, reported this week by Will Strauss, the president and principal analyst of Forward Concepts in Mesa, Ariz., was confirmed by an Intel spokesman in an email to EE Times. The spokesman said Intel made the acqusition to expand its mobile capabilities.
In an email newsletter to clients, Strauss said the move was "very important," because it gave Intel access to the mobile communications transceiver and design team he had previously described as probably the best standalone RF team in the world. Intel likely would have made such a move to help it win design slots in mobile equipment such as smartphones and tablet computers.
The RF team's lineage goes back from Fujitsu to Freescale Semiconductor and before that to Motorola's semiconductor product sector.
Strauss said the latest RF transceiver includes such features as antenna tuning, envelope tracking, and an internal DSP that supports any application processor, including those that implement the x86 instruction set architecture. Of even greater interest may be what the team is working on: an RF chip for LTE-Advanced supporting carrier aggregation of traffic.
In the newsletter, Strauss said that Intel had not made any formal announcement of the Fujitsu acquisition, probably because it did not wish to embarrass its wireless business unit based on its 2011 acquisition of Infineon's wireless business unit for about $1.4 billion. That group brought a healthy business in 2G and 3G RF transceivers to Intel. It is shipping a multimode LTE RF transceiver, but not a much needed LTE modem. However, it seems that any overlap has not deterred Intel from acquiring the Arizona group.
The Intel spokesman said the company does not typically do formal announcements around acquisitions such as this. "Don't read too much into that," the spokesman said via email.