Creative Sells GPU Technology And UK Resources To Intel


The 3DLabs legacy is part of the deal worth $50 million

Creative Technology has sold ‘certain UK engineering resources’ owned by its subsidiary ZiiLabs (formerly 3DLabs) to Intel, as part of a $50 million deal that also includes licensing for Creative’s high performance GPU technology.

ZiiLabs was the eventual name for the UK-based graphic processor designer originally called 3DLabs. An early pioneer in 3D graphics on the PC  in the 1990s, it was bought by Singapore-based Creative in 2002 and later re-branded as ZiiLabs.

Creative said in a statement that it will be faster and more cost effective for it to collaborate with partners on future advanced chips for its products, than to develop them in-house.

Sound and vision

Creative is mostly known for its Sound Blaster dedicated sound cards and other audio technology. However, the company’s product portfolio also includes a range of ARM-based ZMS chips featuring the StemCell media processing architecture, developed by its subsidiary ZiiLabs.

Now, Creative has announced it will sell the part of ZiiLabs registered in the UK, which used to be known as 3DLabs until 2009. This particular part of the company is mostly engaged in R&D activities.

Power efficient mobile processors are an area of special interest for Intel following its foray into the mobile device market earlier this year.

The deal will have Intel pay $20 million for the licensing of the GPU technology developed by Creative and $30 million for engineering resources owned by ZiiLabs in Britain.

Creative will still retain full ownership of ZiiLabs, and it will still continue to develop ZMS chips and StemCell technology.

“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,” said Sim Wong Hoo, CEO of Creative Technology.

The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the year. The licensing income should help Creative finish the quarter with an operating profit.

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