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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

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

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