Intel Capital invests $600m in wireless

The venture capital arm of the semiconductor manufacturer has committed the largest sum in its history to Clearwire Corporation, and Intel will integrate the company’s technology into its own products.

Clearwire Corporation, a high-speed wireless broadband services provider, has secured $900 million in a financing round from Intel Capital and Motorola Ventures. The company has also sold its subsidiary NexNet Wireless, a provider of non-line-of-sight (NLOS) wireless broadband equipment, to Motorola for an undisclosed amount.

$600 million of the investment is coming from Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of Intel Corporation. The investment stands as the largest in the firm’s history. Motorola Ventures also participated in the financing round.

The financing will be used to accelerate the development and deployment of portable and mobile WiMAX networks, an alternative to the Wi-Fi signals currently in use. Intel says it plans on working to include WiMAX chipsets in its next generation of mobile computing platforms, particularly the Centrino Mobile Technology notebook.

Motorola says it will work to supply wireless broadband equipment for Clearwire’s existing and future networks around the world. It will also integrate NextNet’s wireless access products into its product offerings.

Intel Capital makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies in the hardware, software and services sector. Since 1991, the firm has invested more than $4 billion in more than 1,000 companies. Motorola Ventures typically invests $3 billion to $5 billion in start-up technology companies.