Intel elbows its way into baseband market

Intel has managed to elbow its way into the mobile baseband market on its first year out.

Market researcher Strategy Analytics has been adding up the numbers and dividing by its shoe size to work out that Intel has 15 percent of the market.

It is a long way behind the leader, Qualcomm, which has a 45 percent market share, but given that Intel was not even in this sector last year it is doing well to be ranked at number two.

Intel made its sudden impact by buying Infineon’s wireless business unit early in 2011.

But the grow has also been because the sector has been hotting up.  Last year it grew by 15 percent year-on-year to be worth $15.1 billion in 2011

In the top five were, in order, Qualcomm, Intel, MediaTek, Texas Instruments, and ST-Ericsson

Stuart Robinson, director of the handset components service at Strategy Analytics, told EE Times that the market was dynamic with LTE and TD-SCDMA creating opportunities for baseband vendors and non-handset devices such as USB dongles, M2M, e-book readers and tablets providing a significant boost to baseband companies in 2011.

Qualcomm is the king of the castle because it has shedloads of baseband modem expertise in 3G/4G technology already.

Robinson believes that Qualcomm will also do well out of the emerging LTE baseband market.

He added that Broadcom’s W-CDMA baseband share should improve because it is doing well in baseband-integrated smartphone processor market.