LONDON – DSP IP licensor Ceva Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) has announced that it will not rebid against Imagination Technologies Group plc for processor IP company MIPS Technologies Inc.
Graphics IP licensor Imagination (Kings Langley, England) started the process in early November with a bid of $60 million to buy MIPS's operating business and certain patents while another U.K. company, ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England), would lead a consortium called Bridge Crossing that would acquire rights to the major part of the MIPS portfolio of patents as a form of legal protection. Bridge Crossing is set to pay $350 million in cash to purchase the rights to the MIPS portfolio, of which ARM will contribute $167.5 million.
Ceva bid twice against forcing Imagination to rebid up to a level of $100 million. Ceva said that while there had been merit in trying to acquire MIPS, at the level reached it would rather preserve its cash for other opportunities.
Imagination wants to acquire MIPS, a pioneer of 32- and 64-bit processing, to help boost its position against ARM Holdings which offers both general purpose and graphics processors for license.
Imagination is expected to have to borrow about $22 million to help fund its higher offer.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.