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Intel gets regulatory clearance on DSP buy

Intel and DSP Communications pass a regulatory hurdle, clearing the way for the chip giant to beef up its growing wireless strategy.

Intel and DSP Communications have passed a regulatory hurdle, clearing the way for the chip giant to acquire the wireless chipmaker.

The waiting period for federal antitrust review of Intel's proposed acquisition of DSP Communications (DSPC) expired yesterday. As a result, the companies have clearance from U.S. federal antitrust agencies to complete the deal.

Last month, Intel moved to acquire DSP Communications for $1.6 billion.

With DSPC, Intel plans to develop and sell digital signal processors, chips that capture the digital impulses and translate them into audio for cell phones and other devices. Intel already sells flash memory and StrongARM microprocessors, two other key elements of wireless devices.

Intel has moved steadily toward diversifying beyond its traditional base of PC chips and server microprocessors, motivated largely by fear that the profit to be squeezed out of traditional computers has hit a plateau, analysts have said.

The market for digital signal processor chips has proven lucrative, with the steady rise in demand for cell phones and other wireless devices. Texas Instruments, which leads the digital signal processor market, has seen a renewal in investor enthusiasm, as its stock has nearly tripled in the last year alone.