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Intel to ink $50m licensing deal for Creative's ZiiLabs Android GPU tech

Intel appears to be gearing up for the post-Otellini era in dramatic fashion, with the latest reports indicating that the US chip giant has reached a deal with Creative Technology to license patents from ZiiLabs - its UK-based, Android orientated SoC design subsidiary - and purchase accompanying graphics processing technologies.

The deal will be worth a total of $50 million (£31.4 million) and should be completed before the end of December.

Of this, $30 million (£18.8 million) will be used for the acquisition of ZiiLabs' "engineering resources and assets," and $20 million (£12.6 million) for "the licensing of certain technologies ... relating to ZiiLabs' high performance GPU technology."

"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," said Sim Wong Hoo, CEO of Creative Technology.

However, the deal is not a buyout. ZiiLabs will still fall under Creative Technology's ownership, and will carry on developing and selling its line of StemCell chips and ARM-based ZMS application processors.

"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 consumers," added Hoo.

According to recently leaked slides discovered by Mobile Geeks, Intel is set to drop Imagination Technologies' PowerVR GPUs from its Atom processors in favour of in-house products by 2014.

Additionally, ZiiLabs has been furthering its GPU technology that supports full profile OpenCL, which Intel is beginning to incorporate into its own GPU architecture.