Intel’s venture capital arm on Wednesday made its biggest ever investment in a single company - putting $600m into Clearwire, the wireless provider founded by cellphone pioneer Craig McCaw.

The investment is a strategic one for the world’s biggest chipmaker. Mr McCaw is offering high-speed wireless broadband services and Intel has been the main driver of a new wireless standard called Wimax, which is being incorporated in its chips.

Intel Capital, the VC arm, said the investment would “accelerate the development and deployment of portable and mobile Wimax networks.”

The $600m is part of a $900m private financing round in which Motorola Ventures is also participating. Motorola said it had also acquired a Clearwire subsidiary - NextNet Wireless - which will supply equipment for Clearwire’s network

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