Imagination Technologies yesterday announced it is to buy the Sunnyvale-based rival to ARM, MIPS Technologies, for $60 million (£37.6 million) in cash.
The deal includes 82 patents, 160 engineers and the rest of its operating assets, as well as a royalty-free, perpetual licence granted in respect of the remaining 498 Divested Patent Properties that have been acquired by an industry consortium called Allied Security Trust for $350 million (£219 million).
The acquisition will bring together two of the world’s top five semiconductor IP vendors and strengthen Imagination Technologies’ CPU portfolio, as it aims to take on the other UK-based tech giant, ARM, which has ramped up its ambitions in the GPU market with its latest Mali architecture, called Midgard.
Imagination Technologies, which counts Intel and Apple among its major shareholders and IP licensees, already has a CPU solution called Meta, but it has not been as successful as its PowerVR series. MIPS, which launched a new architecture called Aptiv, capable of rivalling ARM’s Cortex-A15 products, could give it the necessary firepower to deliver a more coherent collection.
Interestingly, MIPS, alongside ARM and x86, is directly supported by Google’s Android OS and includes the likes of Sony, Toshiba, Cavium and Broadcom as its licensees.