In an interesting turn of events, Intel has announced that it will purchase the world's largest dedicated security software company, McAfee, for $7.68bn.
The company, best known for its home and business anti-virus software, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the chip giant and will report to the Software and Services Group.
This isn't the first acquisition of a software company that Intel has made in the past few years. In 2007, the company bought Havok, the company responsible for the popular video-game physics engine of the same name. Then last year it acquired Wind River Systems, who develops embedded software and middleware for a variety of uses.
Intel senior VP Renée James commented that "hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow."
She added that "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".
So what does this actually mean for McAfee, Intel and consumers? Judging by the Havok acquisition, McAfee may well be left to operate as a largely independent company. We're likely to see Intel engineers making use of the company's expertise in providing enhanced hardware-based virus protection, though, and we may also see McAfee security software optimised for Intel hardware.
The announcement specifically points to developing security solutions in relation to cloud services as an area of joint collaboration. Intel will no doubt want to leverage the company's experience in the growing market for mobile security as well.
The deal is still awaiting shareholder and regulatory approval, but should complete in the coming months.