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December 26, 2008

Intel expands stake in Imagination

Follows in Apple's footsteps

By CBR Staff Writer

Intel has increased its stake in graphics chipset design company Imagination to 3.04%. The move follows Apple’s recent $4.8m acquisition of a 3.6% stake in the company.

Imagination develops semiconductor cores for multimedia and communications applications such as digital radio and audio; mobile multimedia & personal media players; mobile internet devices; digital TV and set-top box and mobile TV. The company’s technology includes PowerVR visual IP, Ensigma communications IP, and META multi-threaded processor/DSP.

Both Intel and Apple are licensees of London-based Imagination’s PowerVR graphics and video IP cores. Apple uses Imagination’s fourth-generation PowerVR MBX Lite 3D accelerator in its iPhone and iPod touch. Apple and other netbook and MID vendors also use SoCs built around an ARM processor design and PowerVR.

With its next-generation Moorestown processor, which uses PowerVR Technology, not expected until 2010, Intel is finding ways to not lose out on the current market opportunities. In a statement filed with the London Stock Exchange, it said it may bid to acquire Imagination if another company were to table an acquisition offer.

Imagination has posted revenues of £15.5m in the half year ended October 2008, an increase of 10% from the same period in 2007. It signed six major agreements involving over 10 silicon core licences during the period.

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