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5 October, 2006 - 16:34 By Staff Reporter

Stake and chips as Intel buys into Herts firm

The world’s largest chip firm, Intel it is to invest £5.3 million and take a three per cent equity stake in Herts-based system-on-chip IP specialist, Imagination Technologies.

Intel has also struck a deal to extend the licensing and deployment of Imagination Technologies’ graphics and video IP cores for use with its PC, mobile computing and consumer architectures in certain segments.

It is a ringing endorsement echoed by another major US semiconductor firm, Texas Instruments, which has chosen to continue its cooperation with Imagination through the extension of a license for one of Imagination’s PowerVR graphics core family members under a multiple-use license arrangement.

Financial details of the license extensions were not given, though under Imagination’s regular licensing arrangements, the company receives license fees and royalty revenues on SoCs incorporating Imagination’s IP shipped by partners.

Intel’s investment is being made through its private equity division, Intel Capital, who will subscribe for six million new ordinary shares of Imagination’s share capital – 2.9 per cent of its issued share capital – at a price of 88 pence per share, the stock’s closing price on the LSE on 29 September.

This price was immediately overtaken on announcement of the multiple deals, rising 9.94 per cent to 96.75 pence, up 8.75 pence a share.

Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital, said: “Intel Capital’s investment recognises the importance of graphics, video, and display technologies for the PC, mobile computing and consumer markets.

“This investment together with the ongoing collaboration between Intel and Imagination will expand these capabilities bringing the benefits of enhanced graphics and video to customers around the world.”

Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of its Ultra Mobile Group, added: “Imagin-ation has a wide range of significant and market-leading graphics and video IP cores, together with a team of highly respected engineers with many years experience of embedded multimedia.

“Intel highly values our collaboration with Imagination Technologies in the development of industry-leading multimedia capabilities for future PC and consumer products.”

Imagination Technologies’ chief executive, Hossein Yassaie, said: “We are delighted to continue and extend this relationship with Intel for our new generation of PowerVR graphics and video cores.

“Our relationship with Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor company, has reached a new stage that will see the companies working together to enable a growing range of Intel processors with Imagination’s industry-leading graphics and video capabilities.”

Texas Instruments has said it will use the technology from Imagination in its next generation application processor family, OMAP3 architecture.

Imagination’s PowerVR IP cores for graphics, video and display seamlessly integrate to enable the design of state-of-the-art system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. The PowerVR SGX family are its next generation shader-based graphics and video technology cores.

PowerVR video cores support a wide range of compressed video formats including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, WMV, and VC-1 for single and multiple streams from SD to HDTV formats.

PowerVR display cores provide high-quality scaling, overlay and blending, interlace to progressive video conversion and interlace output with flicker filtering.

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