Creative to license GPU technology to Intel as part of $50 million deal

By on November 20, 2012, 2:00 PM

Creative Technology has come to an agreement with Intel to license out their GPU chip technology as they move forward with plans to focus on their core strengths: audio equipment. The Singapore technology company will also sell ZiiLabs Limited (formerly 3DLabs) to Intel as part of the deal valued at $50 million.

Creative released a statement earlier today outlining the specifics of the deal. Intel will hand over $20 million for the right to license GPU technology currently owned by ZiiLabs Inc., a subsidiary of Creative. The rest of the money will be used to transfer engineering resources and assets from ZiiLabs Limited to Intel.

ZiiLabs Limited currently designs and develops silicon but they have discovered recently that it’s more cost efficient to outsource this step to third party providers. Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo said that as advanced media processors beyond 28nm become more complex and expensive to develop, his company has to find new ways to work with partners to provide customers with continued product innovation.

"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," Hoo said.

The company known for audio products will continue to monetize their patent portfolio which reportedly contains more than 100 pieces of intellectual property. The funds they will pick up from Intel should also go a long way as Creative has experienced 14 consecutive quarters of loss.

The two say the deal should be complete by the end of 2012.

User Comments: 7

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captainawesome captainawesome said:

I cant wait anymore for their ZXR to come out It's taking SOOO long.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Interesting move... A little move at shoring up some of the HD graphics for Intel perhaps? If they can mitigate AMD's one strength left (APU graphics), there could be some more interesting shifts in the marketplace.

waterytowers said:

I didn't even realise Creative did anything in the GPU market ?

I can't imagine their GPU portfolio would be much to speak of...

dikbozo said:

As most of Ziilabs IP is tied to ARM products, I don't really see how it will help Intel with the crappy performance of their IGP. It might be part of an Intel push into the world 'o' ARM, though.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I though creative sold that part off years ago.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I though creative sold that part off years ago.

That was more to do with 3Dlabs CAD/workstation graphics business (Dynamic Pictures and Intense 3D), which ended up being gobbled up by Nvidia and Intel.

This is likely more about Creative patents and IP associated with the Zii SoC (their stemcell computing initiative)- my guess is that Intel have found something of interest in Creative's IP portfolio, rather than any actual product

Guest said:

Wow, I didn't know that Creative still existed! ;)

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