For a while now the dark satanic rumour mill has been manufacturing a hell on earth yarn that Texas Instruments is about to flog its OMAP division.
Analyst Craig Berger of FBR Capital Markets thinks that TI needs to flog its OMAP division to finance its $6.5 billion acquisition of National Semiconductor. OMAP is expected to fetch a billion.
His theory is that smartphone and tablet OEMs want systems on chips which merge the applications processor and the cellular baseband on the same die.
TI is phasing out its baseband operations and will have a tough time notching OMAP design wins in the future. But Strauss thinks that Intel, having finalised the acquisition of Infineon Technologies AG’s wireless chip business, might be interested in an ARM-based applications processor that it could marry with the baseband technology.
We are not sure about this. There might be those who would see anti-trust pooh sticking on the shoes of the deal.
Strauss admitted he was speculating, noted that the price that OMAP would fetch, which he estimated at certainly $1 billion or more, means there are only a handful of companies who could pull off a deal.
With people looking at alternatives to Intel architecture it makes sense that Intel should, too, he said.
Intel has flogged ARM-based processors in the past but sold its XScale line to Marvell Technology and has phased out other ARM-based products in its catalogue.
AMD is another outfit which could pull off the deal, but that such an offer would likely be a merger as opposed to a cash buy because AMD doesn’t have the dosh.