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Intel nabs 1,400 Powerwave patents amid wire-free push

Intel has signed a deal to acquire over 1,400 patents and patent applications registered by Powerwave Technologies, many of which relate to wireless telecommunications technology.

Intel announced today that it has signed a deal to purchase more than 1,400 patents originally registered by Powerwave Technologies, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January.

According to the microchip manufacturer, many of the patents are for wireless telecommunications technology and processes.

"Powerwave was a pioneer in telecommunications infrastructure products, including antennas and base stations," said Intel in a statement. "The patents relate to, among other things, telecommunications infrastructure technologies, including tower-mounted amplifiers, antenna structures, power amplifier configurations, crest factor reduction, and digital pre-distortion circuitry."

Intel acquired the patents from an affiliate of Los Angeles-based private equity company The Gores Group, which obtained the patents following Powerwave's bankruptcy filing. The company has not disclosed the value of the acquisition.

The patent acquisition comes as Intel ramps up its push for entirely wireless PCs , with the company expecting computers based around its next-generation Skylake processors to eliminate cables for power and peripherals.

Intel's general manager of the PC Client Group Kirk Skaugen said this week at the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco that the company's reference designs for Skylake-based 2-in-1 computers and PCs will utilise a suite of wireless technologies.

The acquisition of Powerwave's wireless communications-related intellectual property comes only months after rival microprocessor manufacturer Qualcomm completed its acquisition of Israeli startup Wilocity in a bid to advance next-generation Wi-Fi networks WiGig and 802.11ad.

Intel's Skylake microprocessor is also designed to utilise WiGig, along with 802.11n Wi-Fi and WiDi, the company's technology for streaming video and audio to a display based on the Miracast standard.

The post-bankruptcy sale of Powerwave's patents comes just over two years after Kodak's Chapter 11 bankruptcy prompted the company to sell off a portfolio of around 1,100 patents to a consortium of technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft, and Google.

The patent portfolio, which was initially valued by Kodak at over $2 billion, but sold for $525 million, contained a bevy of digital imaging patents.