Intersil quits ‘overcrowded’ WiFi, finds sucker to buy

Long odds


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

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • US, UK, Western Europe fail to hit top 50 cheapest broadband list
    Syria, Sudan, Belarus, Ukraine came top. Are you starting to see a pattern?

    In an analysis of 3,356 fixed-line broadband deals in 220 countries, price comparison website Cable.co.uk found that the UK has the 92nd cheapest internet, beating the US, which came in 134th place.

    Based on 41 packages, the average cost per month for broadband in Britain came in at $39.01. Stateside, this rose to $55, from 34 packages measured.

    For these bulwarks of western democracy, 92nd and 134th place isn't particularly impressive. But if you really want to shave the dollars off your internet bill, you have a number of options.

    Continue reading
  • The right to repairable broadband befits a supposedly critical utility
    A bolt of lightning has caused me days of misery, because the fix requires too much proprietary tech

    Column I heard an electric discharge, a bit like a Jacob's ladder, immediately before a deafening crack of thunder. I'd never been so close to a lightning strike! All of the lights in the house went bright, then dimmed, then went back to normal. "Uh-oh," I thought, "I'm in trouble now." Everything in the house had been hit by a nasty surge and the oft-spoken aphorism that broadband services are now a utility to rank with water and electricity was suddenly very, very, real to me.

    But it was electricity I worried about first. I use top of the line surge protectors so my most sensitive devices – computers and monitors, of which I have many – all seemed fine. But I'd overlooked two other connections that come into nearly every home: the antenna and the phone line.

    My television seemed to have taken a direct hit. It still worked – mostly – but appeared unable to receive any digital broadcasts. That circuit, lying on the other side of the antenna lead, likely took a big hit from the lightning strike. But the rest of the television seemed fine – at first. After a few days, and several spontaneous reboots, I began to intuit that devices don't always immediately fail when hit by lightning. Sometimes they gradually shed their functions and utility.

    Continue reading
  • Telecoms growth forecast for 2022 may be optimistic
    Analyst view: 4Q21 drop plus strains from war mean component shortages drag on

    The telecoms kit market had a good 2021 with revenues close to $100bn, up more than 20 percent since 2017, but growth is now slowing, according to analyst Dell'Oro Group. Huawei is also starting to feel the effect of sanctions, but still leads the global market by a fair margin.

    However, the Dell'Oro Group's prediction of slightly less growth for 2022 may turn out to be optimistic amid warnings that the Ukraine war is already having an impact on the fragile supply chain recovery.

    Dell'Oro's analysis is based on the telecoms market sectors it monitors, including Broadband Access, Microwave & Optical Transport, Mobile Core Network (MCN), Radio Access Network (RAN), and Service Provider Router & Switch.

    Continue reading
  • Fibre broadband uptake in UK lags behind OECD countries
    Not very 'world-beating'

    Optical-fibre internet now makes up 32 per cent of fixed broadband subscriptions across the OECD countries, and is the fastest growing broadband technology. However, there is a mixed picture with cable still dominant in the Americas and the UK still predominantly DSL.

    These figures come from an update to the OECD's broadband portal, indicating that fibre subscriptions grew by 15 per cent across the OECD countries between June 2020 and June 2021, with demand for faster internet speeds as employees worked remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions cited as one reason.

    Fixed broadband subscriptions in OECD countries totalled 462.5 million as of June 2021, up from 443 million a year earlier, while mobile broadband subscriptions totalled 1.67 billion, up from 1.57 billion a year earlier.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022