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Creative Licenses Technology and Patents to Intel

Creative Technology said last week that it has entered into a $50 million USD deal with Intel to license out certain technology and patents from subsidiary ZiiLABS Inc to the CPU giant. As part of the deal, Intel will also acquire "certain engineering resources and assets" related to Creative's UK subsidiary ZiiLABS Limited, formerly known as 3DLABS Limited.

News of the agreement arrives after Creative and Intel partnered to create the Creative Interactive Gesture Camera, an advanced motion sensing camera that can pick up human motion for interaction with games, as seen in September during the Intel Developers Forum (PDF). It's a small, light-weight, low-power camera that is tuned for near-range interactivity on both desktops and laptops, including Ultrabooks. It includes an HD web camera, a QVGA depth sensor and a dual-array microphone.

According to Creative, it will receive $20 million for licensing ZiiLABS' high performance GPU technology to Intel, and it will receive $30 million for transferring the previously mentioned engineering resources and assets from the UK subsidiary. The company said the subsidiary is a design entity that's engaged in the development of various silicon solutions including Creative's own ZMS chips.

"As the next generation advanced media processors beyond 28 nanometers become increasingly complex and expensive to develop, we must find new models to work with our partners and customers to drive continued product innovation," said Sim Wong Hoo, CEO of Creative Technology. "With this announcement, we gain increased flexibility with the ability to partner with multiple semiconductor companies on advanced design and process technologies, allowing us to mitigate risk while maintaining control over the long-term direction of our product portfolio."

Creative's CEO added that moving forward, it will simply be more cost effective for the company to outsource to third party contract chip-layout houses on future advanced chips for its products. Outsourcing will also allow Creative to focus on designing and marketing "more innovative and exciting products for our customers."

The company said on Monday that ZiiLABS will continue to retain ownership of its StemCell media processor technologies and patents. It will also continue to supply and support the ZMS series of chips to its customers, and continue developing devices incorporating the ZiiLABS ZMS-20 and the ZMS-40 media processors.

"Creative will continue to retain ownership of its formidable patent portfolio in the field of 3D graphics and media processing," CEO Sim Wong Hoo added. "We will be engaging in discussions to further monetize this valuable collection of 100 plus patents."

This transaction is expected to be completed in the current quarter ending December 2012, Creative said.

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  • Gundam288
    Well, hello 3 way GPU war!
    Reply
  • N.Broekhuijsen
    Gundam288Well, hello 3 way GPU war!I'd much sooner welcome a 2 way CPU war! We're getting closer though.
    Reply
  • digiex
    GPU for small form factor like smartphones/tablets. If AMD will not move fast enough with ATI, it will be stuck in the PC era.
    Reply
  • ronch79
    Creative just allowed Intel to suck them dry.
    Reply
  • And Now we need a Much more detailed article comparing the Creative Technologs' IP to the other GPU makers IP!
    Reply
  • ddpruitt
    What does Intel want with a 3rd rate chip maker? Last I heard this company hadn't company with anything interesting in a decade or so. Most of there GPU's are used for proprietary SOC systems that haven't made a significant impact. This really isn't Intel's usual cup of tea.
    Reply
  • neoverdugo
    Well, well. So Intel finally realized that they need help to make gpu for their combined solutions.
    Reply
  • ltdementhial
    digiexGPU for small form factor like smartphones/tablets. If AMD will not move fast enough with ATI, it will be stuck in the PC era.
    Are you reading what you're sayin?

    AMD doesn't need to worry (yet) about intel grapich's in fact if they launch in time Steam roller Intel is going to be in a tight spot since its supposed to be AMD first TRUE APU.

    I think that Intel with Haswell coming and the expectation about making those chips very very low in wattage (i read 55 watts for Core i 5 and 65 for i7 somewhere) they made this deal with Creative so their gpu's don't spoil that wattage they trying to get.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    ddpruittWhat does Intel want with a 3rd rate chip maker? Last I heard this company hadn't company with anything interesting in a decade or so. Most of there GPU's are used for proprietary SOC systems that haven't made a significant impact. This really isn't Intel's usual cup of tea.
    You must have forgotten about the X-Fi audio chips which in their day were damn good audio processors and I still use one since compared to onboard they are much better for quality audio.

    Plus Intel has the resources to make it better as well.

    neoverdugoWell, well. So Intel finally realized that they need help to make gpu for their combined solutions.
    I wouldn't say that. The next Atom is supposed to have IB based graphics which would probably kill most SoC graphics for smartphones/tablets.

    Still I am interested to see what Intel is going to use this for.
    Reply
  • halcyon
    Intel saw something they thought was worth it. Must be nice to have that kind of money to just waste.
    Reply