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Intel procures Altera Helms integrated microprocessor and FPGA



Intel Corp settles a consensus by procuring field-programmable gate array (FPGA) specialist Altera Corp. for $16.7Bn to combine microprocessor and FPGA technologies.

Intel plans to offer Altera’s FPGA products with Intel Xeon server-class processors as customized, integrated products, Intel officials say. The companies also expect to enhance Altera’s products by applying Intel’s integrated device manufacturing model.

Designers of aerospace and defense high-performance embedded computing (HPEC) systems often pair Altera FPGAs and high-end Intel processors for demanding digital signal processing applications in radar processing, electronic warfare (EW) signals intelligence (SIGINT), and other compute-intensive uses.

Intel and Altera also kernels in HPEC design trends that involve so-called hybrid processor architectures that blend general-purpose processors like the Intel Core i7, server-class processors like the Intel Xeon, general-purpose graphics processor units (GPGPUs) like the Nvidia Tesla, and FPGAs like thThe acquisition also could change the FPGA competitive landscape somewhat, by pitting microelectronics giants Intel and Microsemi Corp. in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Microsemi acquired FPGA specialist Actel in 2010. Altera will become an Intel business unit to facilitate continuity of existing and customer sales and support. Intel plans to continue support and development for Altera’s ARM-based and power management product lines. The acquisition should close in six to nine months, Intel officials say.

“Intel’s growth strategy is to expand our core assets into profitable, complementary market segments,” says Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “We believe that as part of Intel we will be able to develop FPGAs and system-on-chips for our customers in all market segments,” says Altera President and CEO John Daane.


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