Feeds

Intersil quits ‘overcrowded’ WiFi, finds sucker to buy

Long odds

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The writing is on the wall for WiFi chip suppliers. The WLAN market may be about to boom, but the main beneficiaries of the boom look like being Cisco and Intel - so Intersil has sold off its Prism line of chips to someone who thinks they can out-think those two giants.

The brave buyer is GlobespanVirata, which has agreed to pay $365 million for Intersil's WiFi chip business operation - a price which will look cheap, if GlobespanVirata can get as good a market share in the future as Intersil has today. But that doesn't look certain.

When you move house, it's important to make it clear that you'd love to stay there, because it's a great place to live. "The challenges of the WLAN evolution are resulting in even greater differences in the business models of Intersil’s High Performance Analog Product Groups and its Wireless Networking Product Group," said Rich Beyer, President and CEO of Intersil.

What observers are likely to suspect is that he can see Intel eating away at the market for plug-in WiFi cards at one end of the market, and Cisco plotting to disable all competitors at the Access Point end of the market.

This takes roughly half of Intersil's revenue away. The company's 2003 first quarter sales in wireless LAN were $49 million, with remaining revenue of $51 million in its analogue electronics business, which it will retain.

Observers have suggested that the deal may work for GlobespanVirata, even if competition gets tougher, because the company has a thriving "fabless" semiconductor business making DSL chips for broadband. Increasingly, broadband modems are required to include wireless, making it a captive market.

Some observers think that Intersil has been scared by the big-time arrival of Broadcom on the market, with the early version of 802.11g late last year, six months ahead of the ratification of the standard. That was a ploy that paid off for Broadcom, increasing total market sales by a lot more than a factor of two.

Most of that growth went directly to Broadcom and its customers. GlobespanVirata is taking a big gamble.

© NewsWireless.Net

Some recent articles on Newswireless.Net
WiFi org starts testing for fast 11g compatibility. A secret at WiFi org!
Voice over Internet gets another vote: Agere goes for WiFi phones

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.