Intel to Invest $1.5 Billion in Chinese Chip Firm

(San Jose Mercury News/MCT) -

Hoping to further its efforts to get its chips into a broader array of products, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel has struck a deal to invest $1.5 billion in Tsinghua Unigroup of China to jointly make chips for mobile devices.

Intel said the investment will give it a 20 percent stake in Tsinghua, which owns semiconductor firms Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics. Under the deal, it said, Spreadtrum will create and sell Intel chips beginning in the second half of next year.

“China is now the largest consumption market for smartphones and has the largest number of internet users in the world,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in a press release. “These agreements with Tsinghua Unigroup underscore Intel’s 29-year-long history of investing in and working in China. This partnership will also enhance our ability to support a wider range of mobile customers in China and the rest of the world by more quickly delivering a broader portfolio of Intel architecture and communications technology solutions.”