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3/14/2011
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Intel Buys LTE Vendor SySDSoft

Intel plans to use the Egyptian company's technology to boost its products for 4G LTE wireless networks, as well as other communication standards.

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Intel has acquired most of the assets of SySDSoft and plans to fold the privately held company's 4G LTE wireless technology into its mobile communications business. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Intel said Monday that it has hired about 100 of the Egyptian company's electrical engineers and computer scientists. SySDSoft's wireless Internet protocol technologies will become a part of Intel Mobile Communications, a business entity the chipmaker launched with the purchase in January of Infineon Technologies' Wireless Solutions business.

"The acquisition of engineering and design talent from an Egypt-based company in the field of cutting-edge wireless and communication technology is the first of its kind for Intel in the Middle East," Intel executive VP Arvind Sodhani said in a statement.

SySDSoft's portfolio includes a variety of technologies, such as WiMax, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Wireless USB, CDMA-DO, and LTE. Founded in 2002, the company comprises three business units: One focused on embedded software for the protocol stack of communications systems, another on the design of radio frequency/analog integrated circuits, and the third focused on design of technology in baseband digital signal processing.

Intel's Mobile Communications business develops semiconductors for smartphones and tablets. The independent unit develops a variety of communication technologies, with LTE, or Long Term Evolution, being one of the hottest emerging 4G wireless standards. Verizon Wireless and AT&T are in the process of rolling out LTE networks. Even Sprint, a long-time supporter of another 4G technology, WiMax, has recently made comments pointing to a future embrace of LTE.

Intel was also an earlier supporter of WiMax, and continues to develop related technology. However, Intel quickly broadened its portfolio with the Infineon acquisition, which added 2G, 3G and 4G LTE semiconductors.

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona in February, Intel said it would start shipping in the second half of the year samples of a low-power multi-mode communications chip that would support LTE. The company expects to make the product widely available in the second half of next year.

Intel's focus on communication-related semiconductors complements its work on microprocessors for handheld mobile devices. The company introduced at MWC its Medfield smartphone processor, which is seen as better equipped than previous chips to compete with processors based on the designs of ARM Holdings, which dominates the mobile phone and tablet market. Medfield, which is expected to enter mass production this year, is smaller and consumes less power than any other processor Intel has made for smartphones.

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