SemiAccurate reports that Texas Instruments is currently trying to sell off its high-end ARM-based OMAP (Open Multimedia Application Platform) division.
So far the company hasn't announced anything official, but the reason behind the possible sale is merely to get out while it's still riding high as one of the few key players in the mobile sector, potentially raking in some serious cash. Although still slated as rumor, the possible sale will likely happen once its OMAP 5 SoC is out the door, one of the first SoCs based on ARM's A15 design and reportedly "semi-officially" endorsed for Google's next generation of gadgets.
According to the report, various companies are big players in the possible purchase including Intel, AMD, ATIC, Nvidia, and "a long list of other interested parties." Intel is obviously the unlikely candidate given that it's producing its own x86-based SoC for the mobile sector. AMD likely doesn't want OMAP technology either, but SemiAccurate seems to suggest that ATIC (Advanced Technology Investment Company) would be a prime candidate.
Why ATIC? One suggestion is that ATIC would provide its new OMAP division not only with cutting edge processing technology, but a huge financial backing. Global Foundries could even license OMAP-based IP to external parties like Nvidia and other licensees. And as SemiAcurate points out, ATIC buying OMAP "has a lot of synergies, and would only tangentially involve AMD too."
But as previously stated, this is all merely rumor – Texas Instruments hasn't said anything official at this point. SemiAccurate, despite its name, feels confident that the news isn't mere rumor, but that the sale process is well under way. That said, would this be an ideal time for Texas Instruments to sell off its OMAP division given that it has enough chips sold to be considered as a major player in the sector? Wouldn't this be the ideal time to ride out the tablet wave?
Only time will tell. We expect to hear more about this specific rumor in the near future.