Intel today said it would buy the wireless assets of Mindspeed Technologies which makes wireless telecommunications silicon. Intel will get a wireless expertise in signal processing-related and IP for base stations in this acquisition.
Intel’s portion of the Mindspeed business includes chips for the front end of cellular networks, especially low-power radios used in small cells.
Intel is getting into the business of cloud-based cellular basestations, using their processors to do the signal processing. The so-called “Cloud RAN” approach enables smaller, cheaper cellular gear, about the size of a WiFi access point. It centralizes cellular basestations in a remote data center.
Traditional cellular networks are built with many stand-alone base stations (BTS). Intel is incorporating cellular signal processing on Intel-based servers — and collaborating with China Mobile and SK Telecom in Korea on designing Cloud Radio Access Network technologies that live in a data center.