Intel Buying Wireless Chipmaker Mobilian - InformationWeek

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Intel Buying Wireless Chipmaker Mobilian

Intel is strengthening its strategy to sell a variety of chips for phones and other devices.

Intel is buying wireless LAN chipmaker Mobilian Corp. for an undisclosed sum in a deal to strengthen its strategy to offer a variety of chips for phones and other devices.

The 70-person startup is Intel's latest acquisition in the communications area, several of which have been in the wireless sector.

The deal has not been officially announced, but Intel confirmed the companies signed a memorandum of understanding Oct. 31. However, it would not say how it intends to use Mobilian's products and technology.

Mobilian has raised about $70 million since it was founded in 1999. Last year, it started sampling a two-piece chipset dubbed TrueRadio that supports the simultaneous operation of 802.11b wireless-LAN and Bluetooth radios.

The device will enable the manufacture of a PC Card featuring the two wireless technologies with a bill of materials under $35, the company said.

In addition to the stakes it has taken in various companies developing or deploying wireless technologies, Intel itself has made a major push in wireless. The company's Centrino processor platform has made huge strides in the notebook-PC market, but the chip only supports the 802.11b wireless LAN standard. Intel is working on chips that support 802.11a and g.

At its peak, Mobilian employed more than 120 people at locations in San Diego and Hillsboro, Calif., and Yokneam, Israel.

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