Intel has closed its acquisition of Wind River Systems, which provides software for embedded devices such as set-top boxes, smartphones, mobile Internet devices and networking equipment. The company is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel but will continue to operate under its own name.
The deal is a key part to Intel’s growth strategy as the technology giant tries to move away from the traditional PC and server markets into handsets, consumer electronics and other embedded systems and devices.
“The acquisition will deliver to Intel robust software capabilities in embedded systems and mobile devices, both important growth areas for the company,” said Renee James, Intel’s vice president and general manager of the company’s Software and Services Group. “This multi-billion-dollar market segment is increasingly becoming connected and more intelligent, requiring supporting applications and services, as well as full Internet functionality.”
In addition to the Wind River acquisition, Intel recently partnered with Nokia to add the handset manufacturer’s HSPA modem technology to Intel’s Atom processor. Intel’s Atom processor could eventually be sized to fit into wireless devices, and although doing so is expected to take some time, an Intel chipset could give Nokia a competitive advantage in the device market.
Though details of the Intel-Nokia collaboration remain sketchy, industry experts widely regarded the deal as a way to get ahead of the competition on an emerging category of devices that falls somewhere between the smartphone and laptop.
The two companies are not the only ones placing heavy bets on larger form factor mobile Internet devices. Qualcomm has announced plans to go after a new category of mobile devices that it calls the “smartbook,” the hybridization of smartphones and netbooks.