- Intel is putting about 8,500 of its 90,000 patents on the auction block as it exits the 5G smartphone modem market.
- The chip giant surprised the tech world in April when it said it was abandoning the market for 5G smartphone chips, for lack of
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Chip giant Intel is putting 8,500 of its patents on the auction block, as the tech powerhouse exits the 5G smartphone market.
The Santa Clara, California-based company told Business Insider it is looking to sell intellectual property assets related to 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular and wireless technologies. The company has nearly 90,000 patents worldwide, a spokesperson said. The patent auction was first reported by IAM media.
Intel is also looking for a buyer for its 5G smartphone modem business. The company stunned the tech world two months ago when it announced that it was abandoning the market for smartphone 5G modem chips. In a statement, new CEO Bob Swan said that "it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns."
An Intel spokesman told Business Insider that the auction process, which is being supervised by the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, "is independent of Intel’s evaluation of options for the smartphone modem business, which we announced last April. Intel would retain significant patent assets for cellular wireless and connected devices technologies."
Intel had reportedly discussed selling its smartphone modem chip business to Apple, according to the Wall Street Journal. A Intel spokesperson declined to comment, but said the company has "hired outside advisors to help us assess strategic options for our wireless 5G phone business. We have received significant interest in the business but have nothing more to say at this time."
Intel has said it will continue to focus its 5G wireless efforts on networking infrastructure. The company is making bigger bets on server chips that power data centers, although Intel has recently struggled with a slowdown in that market. The company recently reported flat revenue growth and a revenue target for 2019 that fell below Wall Street’s expectations.
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