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Intel makes bid for rival semiconductor maker Altera

Chip-making business has become ruinously expensive for all but the biggest players

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Altera's primary chips can be reprogrammed once they leave the foundry, altering some of their functions. Intel's semiconductors are more powerful, but lack that flexibility.

New York

COMPUTERS stuffed with super-fast chips are going everywhere: home appliances, cars, smartphones and giant data centres. This creates rich opportunities for makers of semiconductors, vastly increasing the number of places they can sell ever-smaller chips.

But even as the