Online retailer Amazon is in “advanced talks” to buy the mobile device chip business of Texas Instruments, according to reports originating from Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist.

The deal, which could be worth “billions of dollars”, was seen as an indicator that the company is looking to cement its position in the mobile devices space, where it already offers the TI-powered Kindle tablet range – and a smartphone has also been mooted.

TI has previously said it is looking to “step back” from the smartphone market, in order to focus on its more “stable” business lines.

Other products apparently powered by TI chips include Barnes & Noble’s Nook products, a rival to Amazon’s Kindle line.

While the company has had a strong position in the market with its OMAP products for many years, TI has recently seen increased competitions from companies such as Intel, Samsung and Nvidia, alongside established competitors including Qualcomm.

Companies such as Apple and Qualcomm have invested in their own chip design capabilities, in order to differentiate products and tightly integrate hardware and software components – although both of these companies also have much larger mobile businesses than Amazon.

An acquisition of the TI smartphone chip business would land Amazon with a business in a fiercely competitive space, that its existing owner has already identified as unappealing.