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Here’s what a top Intel exec has to say about this week’s huge Altera deal

In a conversation with Fortune this week, Intel President Renee James summed up her company’s $16 billion deal to acquire chipmaker Altera that grabbed headlines this week as “pretty straightforward.”

“All that’s been said can be said at this point because it has to go through regulatory approval. The deal is pretty self-evident from a strategic perspective, I think,” James told Fortune of the acquisition. “It’s a straight-up consolidation of an adjacent piece of Silicon that really commands quite a premium. There’s a way that we think through integration we can make it better.”

For Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, the deal represents the chance to boost its data center business. Notably, it’s more than twice as big as Intel’s previous largest acquisition, which came in 2010 when the company acquired McAfee for $7.68 billion.

The Altera deal will also be important for Intel’s growing Internet of Things (IoT) business, James said. That idea — of diversifying Intel’s portfolio — falls in line with what company CEO Brian Krzanich told The Wall Street Journal about the deal, which has been painted as a bold move to lessen Intel’s laser focus on the personal computer market. The hope is that Intel can break into other markets as PC sales, and thus demand for PC chips, continues to dip.

James, who in 2013 became Intel’s highest-ranking female executive ever, was named No. 21 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in business list last year. She’s been a fiercely loyal Intel employee for over 25 years.


For more from James and Intel, check out Leigh Gallagher’s interview with her for Fortune Live. It airs on Fridays at 3 p.m. ET.