Infineon buys LSI Corp.’s mobility products biz

LSI Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to sell its mobility products business to Infineon Technologies for $450 million in cash, plus a performance-based payment of up to $50 million payable in Q1 2009. The sale does not include any production facilities. And about 700 LSI employees will join Infineon.

LSI’s mobile business involves mainly mobile radio baseband processors and platforms. While this signals a fabless step from LSI as well as a move towards shedding all its non core biz (LSI’s focus is storage & networking), it signals a larger move of consolidation in mobile communications and for Infineon specifically, this marks it’s strengthening hold in communications biz and its position at important mobile phone makers. It follows its recent acquisition of TI’s DSL CPE unit. 


There has been a recent commentary that this decision from Infineon is not technology driven; rather it is to tap on LSI’s customers for its baseband chips.  Now LSI’s top customer here is Samsung and although Samsung is a big client, it has also been losing share as 3G sales have increased; so this doesn’t sound entirely conclusive.


Also Nokia, which has a third of the world’s mobile phone market,  had recently announced that it would outsource all of its chip manufacturing to Infineon, Texas Instruments, Broadcom and STMicroelect ronics. This acquisition will strengthen Infineon’s position which is also recovering from the major setback of having insolvent BenQ Mobile as its largest customer.

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