Intel plans holistic chip solutions with McAfee purchase
Microchip giant Intel (
) announced Thursday that it was buying security-software company
McAfee - a move that may give it a unique advantage over its rivals
in the chip sector.
Intel has sought in recent years to broaden its product offerings beyond PC chips. It has made integrated graphics processors for some time, and its line of low-power Atom chips was designed specifically for inexpensive, lightweight netbook computers.
One area in which Intel has little clout, however, is smartphones. Many of today's high-end phones use chips from Qualcomm ( QCOM ); Apple ( AAPL ) designed its own chip in-house for the iPhone. By buying McAfee, Intel may be able to position its future chips as both secure and smartphone-friendly.
With mobile-web use expected to grow exponentially in the coming years - research firm Gartner says more people will use mobile devices than PCs to access the web by 2013 - mobile-internet security will come into greater focus. Paul Otellini, Intel's CEO, suggested that security would join energy efficiency and connectivity as a "pillar" of the computing universe.
Security, he predicted, will be "what people demand from all computing experiences."
By Benjamin Foster