Intel will acquire security specialist McAfee in a deal worth $7.68 billion.
The boards of directors at both firms have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close after McAfee shareholder approval, regulatory clearances and other customary conditions.
Intel says the integration of hardware and security software under one roof will ultimately yield more advanced threat detection and prevention.
More controversially, the chip giant also asserts that today’s defence measures are not fit for purpose – claiming the industry’s approach "does not fully address the billions of new Internet-ready devices connecting, including mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines as well as the accompanying surge in cyber threats."
If Intel is looking to somehow redefine the security software landscape, as the language infers, the purchase of McAfee will certainly give it a strong foothold in what is unfamiliar territory for it. McAfee is one of the largest global security providers, and logged double-digit, year-over-year growth and nearly 80 per cent gross margins last year.
"With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.
"The addition of McAfee products and technologies into the Intel computing portfolio brings us incredibly talented people with a track record of delivering security innovations, products and services that the industry and consumers trust to make connecting to the Internet safer and more secure."
Renée James, Intel senior vice president, and general manager of Intel’s software and services group added: "Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow," said James. "This acquisition is consistent with our software and services strategy to deliver an outstanding computing experience in fast-growing business areas, especially around the move to wireless mobility."
"McAfee is the next step in this strategy, and the right security partner for us," she added. "Our current work together has impressive prospects, and we look forward to introducing a product from our strategic partnership next year."
McAffe will operate as wholly-owned subsidiary, reporting to Intel’s Software and Services Group.