SAN FRANCISCO—Sondrel, an IC design services firm based in the U.K., has agreed to buy Imagination Technologies Group plc's IMGworks division for an undisclosed sum.
The IMGworks group provides SoC design and software integration services for designs based around Imagination’s IP cores and system integration of OEM products with chips using Imagination's technology. The IMGworks engineering team will join Sondrel's existing team, creating an IC design group with more than 250 people, according to Sondrel (Theale, England).
Imagination (Kings Langley, England) said earlier this month that it would sell off two of its core businesses, MIPS and Ensigma, after announcing in April that it was notified by its largest customer, Apple, that it would no longer license its graphics cores. Imagination has said that it is negotiating with Apple to resolve the dispute and arrive at a new license and royalty agreement.
"As Imagination begins to sell off businesses, the IMGworks design services group is a good target," said Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research, in an email exchange with EE Times. "Selling it to another design services company in the UK makes sense to me."
Sondrel said the addition of the IMGworks and its capabilities in graphics and video processing would be a good complement to the company's roadmap.
"Video and graphics related business is going through a steep growth curve, driven not only by gaming and infotainment systems but also by the accelerated computational needs of the AI (artificial intelligence) environment that enables many of the new automotive, enterprise cloud and IoT related products," said Sondrel CEO Graham Curren, in the company's statement.
"Combining our existing design-to-GDSII expertise with the wider range of engineering expertise within the IMGworks team will allow us to deliver comprehensive system-on-chip project execution, as well as other innovative solutions leveraging GPU technologies. Sondrel and IMGworks together will be positioned to take full advantage of predicted future semiconductor market trends."
—Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.