The number of CPU manufacturers—whether for PCs, servers and mobile devices—is pretty small. In the PC and server spaces, the majority of machines are using either Intel or AMD (News - Alert) hardware. Much of the mobile market, meanwhile, is made up of Qualcomm and Samsung. For dedicated processor makers like Intel, which has been dealing with waning interest in desktop PCs for the past few years, branching out has become a necessity.
In this vein, Intel has completed the acquisition of Altera (News - Alert) Corporation, a leading provider of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. While this acquisition does complement Intel’s existing product portfolio, it also enables new classes of products for the company in areas like the data center and the Internet of Things (IoT).
"Altera is now part of Intel (News - Alert), and together we will make the next generation of semiconductors not only better but able to do more," said Brian Krzanich, Intel’s CEO. "We will apply Moore's Law to grow today's FPGA business, and we'll invent new products that make amazing experiences of the future possible—experiences like autonomous driving and machine learning."
Intel has also been entering into new partnerships lately as a way to expand its offerings. One recent example is a new collaboration with NEC (News - Alert) Corporation to enhance mobile base station efficiency. In particular, the two companies are developing a Cloud-Radio Access Network (Cloud-RAN) solution which allows the Digital Unit mobile base station functions to be carried out from a single server.
As for Altera, the company will operate as a new Intel business unit called the Programmable Solutions Group, or PSG, led by Dan McNamara of Altera. Despite this change, Intel says it wants to make the transition smooth for customers, continuing to offer support for Altera’s current offerings. Altera will also continue development of its products, including FPGA, ARM (News - Alert)-based SoC and power products.
As Intel’s PSG unit, Altera will also work closely with Intel’s Data Center Group and IoT Group to deliver highly customized and integrated products and solutions in those areas.