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Intel signs a $50m deal with Creative for Ziilabs

Loads up on GPU technology
Tue Nov 20 2012, 15:43
An Intel logo on a piece of equipment

CHIPMAKER Intel will license patents from Ziilabs and purchase assets from the UK based chip designer.

Ziilabs is a UK based subsidiary of Creative Technology focusing on system on chip (SoC) designs for smartphones and tablets. While the firm has yet to register on the public conciousness, it clearly has been on Intel's radar for a while and announced a $50m asset sale and patent licensing deal.

According to Creative, $30m will be a payment for engineering resources and assets that will become part of Intel while the remaining $20m will be for licensing patents with relation to Ziilabs' GPU technology. If leaked slides prove to be accurate, Intel is planning to move away from Imagination Technology's PowerVR graphics core in its Atom processors in 2014 and its purchase of Ziilabs' assets and licenses could be a step in making that happen.

Creative Technology CEO Sim Wong Hoo said, "With this announcement we gain increased flexibility with the ability to partner with multiple semiconductor companies on advanced design and process technologies, allowing us to mitigate risk while maintaining control over the long-term direction of our product portfolio.

"Moving forward, it will be more cost effective for Creative to outsource to third party contract chip-layout houses on future advanced chips for its products, while at the same time allowing Creative to focus on its core strength - the designing and marketing of more innovative and exciting products for our customers."

Ziilabs has been promoting its GPU technology that includes support for full profile OpenCL, which Intel has started to integrate into its own GPU architecture. Hoo added that Creative will continue to hold over 100 patents and will look to monetise them. µ


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