Intel Corp is close to a deal to buy smaller chip maker Altera Corp for about $15 billion, the New York Post reported.

The deal price could be as much as $54 a share, a 15 percent premium over Altera's Thursday closing price of $46.97, the New York Post reported, citing a source close to the situation.

"A deal is likely by the end of next week," the newspaper quoted the source as saying. The source also cautioned that the talks could still fall apart.

Intel signed a standstill agreement earlier this year with Altera that expires on June 1, giving the world's largest chipmaker the option to launch a hostile bid after that, Reuters reported in April, citing sources.

Altera in April rejected an unsolicited $54 per share offer from Intel following months of negotiations, the sources told Reuters.

Avago Technologies Ltd agreed on Thursday to buy Broadcom Corp for $37 billion in the largest merger of chipmakers ever.

The merger is the industry's second megadeal this year and is unlikely to be the last, analysts told Reuters.

Intel and Altera could not be reached immediately for comments outside regular business hours.