updated 03:35 pm EST, Tue November 6, 2012
Consolidation should influence future phone, tablet designs
Imagination Technologies is planning to buy MIPS Technologies in a deal costing $60 million in cash, says Anandtech. MIPS produces one of the few standard CPU architectures outside of Intel and ARM; in buying the company, Imagination will get 82 related patents. Another 580 patents and patent applications have been sold for $350 million to Bridge Crossing, a CPU patent holding group with partners like Intel, ARM, HP, and IBM.
The significance of the buy stems not only from the fate of MIPS but how Imagination might make use of the patents. The firm is responsible for the PowerVR GPUs found in a number of devices, including the iPhone and iPad, the PlayStation Vita, and many phones and tablets based on Android. MIPS could help evolve PowerVR chips even further, or allow Imagination to produce all-in-one chipsets.