Intel stays as quiet as a mouse about Comsys buy

Intel’s gone quiet: shh, shh, shh. Back in late May there was word about that Intel bought out Israeli mobile chip maker Comsys, which we hear has been a little strapped for cash, for $30 million. But the WiMax/GSM modem chip company never confirmed, and neither did Intel.

DigiTimes  reported yesterday that Intel was ready to leave WiMAX dead in the water. We had our own take on it here, and we’re happy to see Intel PR man Nick Jacobs setting us straight. Intel’s not pulling out of WiMAX – see this Intel blog, here – rather, it is “re-organising its WiMAX Program Office (WPO) to better integrate WiMAX into its existing platform and product groups.”

Jacobs commented: “This change is intended to put WiMAX-focused resources and expertise within the teams that can best commercialise WiMAX as it moves beyond start-up phase to a mature wireless technology. Today there are already more than 500 WiMAX networks in 147 countries bringing broadband to over 10 million people.”

Hold on a tic, if Intel’s looking to grab folk who can “best commercialise” WiMAX then why has it reportedly gone over to Comsys, which found itself completely strapped for cash? …Is that just cheaper?

Intel hasn’t bought out any little companies for a long time now so it must see something in this. WiMAX may be one of Intel’s secret tricks up its sleeves, as it is clearly keeping tight-lipped about buy-out rumours.

Our mate, Sylvie Barak over at RCRWireless notes that a Forward Concepts analyst, Will Strauss, claims his old comsysmobile.com email addresses now work with intel.com addresses. According to Sylvie, the Israeli press have been reporting on the acquisition while Intel still hasn’t confirmed.

Which is bizarre. What aren’t they telling us, and why?

A source close to both firms told RCR that when Comsys was just about to go bust, Intel nabbed their employees. It wasn’t just for Wifi or WiMAX, but other areas too. Analyst Will Straus told RCR that he suspects Intel wanted their brains and IPR, not their chips.

He also suggested that Intel is anxious to get its fingers messy in the cellular pie again, having realised that it’s the only area where it can rival the PC space.

TechEye suspects that while being part of its “WiMAX re-organisation” it also wants to keep quiet as it lobbies and sidles up to the Israeli government.

We’ve contacted Intel and will update you if or when we hear anything.