Intel is continuing to grow its mobile ambitions, most recently with the acquisition of Egyptian company SySDSoft, which makes wireless-networking software, particularly in the area of 4G.
Intel, through its independent subsidiary Intel Mobile Communications, announced the deal March 14. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The SySDSoft deal is the latest move by Intel to make inroads into the smartphone and tablet markets, currently dominated by processors based on designs from ARM Holdings. Intel is dominant in desktop, laptop and server chips, but has little presence right now in the mobile world. However, Intel CEO Paul Otellini has made no secret of his desire to gain a significant foothold in the highly profitable and fast-growing space.
In October 2010, Otellini said Intel would become a major player in the tablet space with its Atom processor platform.
Intel this year also closed on its $1.4 billion acquisition of Infineon Technologies’ wireless chip business, another effort to become a presence in the Internet-connected mobile-device space. Customers of that business have included Apple, Samsung and Nokia.
SySDSoft is known for making networking-software products, including offerings in the LTE (Long-Term Evolution) 4G space. Intel said it has hired about 100 of the company’s electrical engineers and computer scientists.
Hermann Eul, president of Intel Mobile Communications, said that as the mobile Internet space continues to grow and the number of connected devices rises, Intel will figure prominently in the space.
“As we enter an era of multi-communication broadband solutions, Intel’s products and technologies will be important to our vision of billions of connected devices,” Eul said in a statement. “Intel is making the necessary investments to further enhance its existing world-class wireless product portfolio and to offer the most reliable platforms to our customers that will work seamlessly across a range of global networks.
“The acquisition supports this strategy, and we believe that SySDSoft’s proven and experienced engineering team, combined with Intel Mobile Communications’ existing wireless strength, positions us well for continued growth in LTE,” he continued.
Intel has been looking to grow its business beyond the mature PC and server markets. Intel Mobile Communications is a key part of the strategy to move the company into the mobile Internet space and to help create energy-efficient, always-connected computing platforms, according to the company. Security also is a key part of the equation, which fueled Intel’s $7.6 billion acquisition of security software maker McAfee.
The SySDSoft deal also is an indication of the chip maker’s interest in investments in the Middle East, even during such volatile times, according to Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and an executive vice president at Intel.
“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,” Sodhani said in a statement. “The acquisition shows Intel’s continued long-term strategic commitment to the region and its appreciation of its young, growing talent pool.”