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Intel buys UK digital TV assets

Demodulators R Us

Intel has agreed to buy the assets of a UK company that makes components for building digital TVs and other consumer electronics gear, it announced on Friday.

The US chip maker will pay approximately $70m (about £40m) for the client-side RF (radio frequency) components business of UK-based Zarlink Semiconductor, a subsidiary of Zarlink Semiconductor of Ottawa, Zarlink said in a statement.

The move is part of Intel's strategy to sell collections of related software and silicon parts used by manufacturers to build consumer electronics products.

The deal includes demodulators and tuners for receiving digital audio and video broadcasts to TVs, set-top boxes, recorders and other devices. They allow the devices to receive, extract and decompress the broadcast and then display or store the content, according to Intel.

The business generated revenue of $53m (about £30m) in its 2005 financial year, Zarlink has said. Selling the assets will allow the firm to focus on its network communications, optical and ultra-low power businesses.

Intel will pay $68m in cash and $2m in “other considerations”, Zarlink said. The deal is subject to closing conditions, including the retention of employees, and is expected to close in November, it said.

The acquisition would complement Intel's purchase earlier this year of Oplus Technologies, which makes video processing technologies, Intel said.

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