Amazon looks to acquire TI mobile chip business, report says

Texas Instruments said recently that it plans to sell off its mobile chip business, and Amazon is one of its top customers.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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The Kindle Fire HD comes with a Texas Instruments chip.
The Kindle Fire HD comes with a Texas Instruments chip. CBS Interactive

Amazon could be planning to acquire a mobile processor business, a new report claims.

Texas Instruments and Amazon are currently engaged in "advanced talks" over the possibility of the Kindle maker acquiring Texas Instruments' mobile chip business, Israel-based news outlet Calcalist is reporting today (translate), citing sources. The news outlet didn't say how much Amazon hopes to pay in the sale.

If Amazon buys out Texas Instruments' mobile chip business, it would mark a dramatic shift for the e-retail giant. Amazon uses Texas Instruments' processors in its mobile devices, including the latest Kindle Fire HD. Barnes & Noble, one of its chief competitors, does, as well. It's not clear whether Amazon would continue to sell chips to competitors or use its own technology for itself.

Texas Instruments announced last month during a conference call with investors that it was planning to sell its mobile processors division, saying that the market was not broad enough for its goals. During the second quarter, Texas Instruments announced revenue of $342 million in its wireless processor business, which includes open multimedia applications platform (OMAP) processors, as well as wireless-connectivity chips, and baseband products. In the prior year, revenue hit $558 million. The division lost $51 million during the second quarter.

Texas Instruments has buckled under pressure from ARM-based mobile chip makers, like Nvidia and Samsung, which have been able to attract more mobile vendors with their perceived better performance. Amazon has argued that the OMAP processors built into its Kindle devices are on par with today's top chips from Nvidia.

As Texas Instruments looks to concede the mobile market, it has started to expand into other markets, including the automotive industry. In its second-quarter financials, Texas Instruments said that revenue generated through the automotive industry increased during the period.

CNET has contacted both Amazon and Texas Instruments for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.

(Via Engadget)