All change in the chipset arena as two of the biggest deals of the decade happen in one weekend

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Fresh after Friday's huge buyout of Broadcom Corporation by Avago Technologies Ltd., today has seen another mammoth deal between Intel Corporation and Altera Corporation which, combined, is set to really shake up the chipset market.

Last week, Avago agreed to buy chip maker Broadcom for a huge $37 billion. This deal has the potential to bring the fight to mobile hardware behemoth Qualcomm as the new Avago/Broadcom venture and the technology that both companies possess could offer smartphone manufacturers another viable supplier to source their hardware from.

The bad news does not end there for Qualcomm however, as today's $16.7 billion acquisition of Altera by Intel Corp dealt a double blow to the future ambitions of the San Diego based telecommunication specialist. It's no secret that Intel and Qualcomm have been eyeing up eachother's market space lately, with Qualcomm pushing into the server and datacenter market and Intel hoping to further itself in the tablet computer and telecommunications arena. With the recent slowdown in CPU sales, Intel has been focussing more attention on the data center side of its business which provides around a quarter of its revenue. SoC specialist Altera is already a customer of Intel's fabs and this new deal will provide Intel with advanced logic gate technology that could increase the computational capabilities of Intel's own datacenters and strengthen their market position.

It's not all good news for Intel however, as the acquisition of Broadcom by Avago will bring together two companies which specialise in enterprise networking and storage respectively, meaning they could now also pose a threat to the datacenter and server business that Intel is hoping to expand.

Interesting times lay ahead, that much is certain. Neither Qualcomm or Intel can afford to sit still, a merger between the two further down the line might not be so unlikely after all.

All change in the chipset arena as two of the biggest deals of the decade happen in one weekend

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