VIA takes slow boat to Kyro?
Digitimes does some digging
Taiwan is a great place for rumours and some of them are even true. Doing the gossip rounds is the "news" that VIA Technologies is interested in buying STMicroelectronic's graphic chips division.
Digitimes, the enterprising local newswire, asked
VIA what the score was - and received an answer of sorts.
Yes, the chip-to-chipset designer is talking to sundry graphic chip companies, and no it won't say who these are.
It does seem likely that STMicro is the prime target, considering that the Franco-Italian semiconductor firm announced its intention last month to sell or close its PC graphic chips division, responsible for a paltry $15m worth of sales annually.
STMicro produces the Kyro II graphics chip and its most significant customer is Guillemot/Hercules. However, Guillemot appears to be concentrating its firepower on ATI, with whom it secured an exclusive retail representation rights in Europe.
STMicro is, incidentally, themajor customer of Imagination Technologies, the company which designed the graphics chip for the Sega Dreamcast. It uses Imagination's PowerVR technology in Kyro II, and the British company also retails Kyro II-based cards through its Videologic division.
However, there doesn't look like much of a life left in Kyro II for Imagination, post any acquisition.
"Given the moderate performance of VideoLogic’s driver program, compared to those of Nvidia and ATI Technologies, it is believed that VIA may not purchase the driver program segment if an acquisition were to be proposed," Digitimes writes.
STMicro has saved Imagination's bacon with an agreement to jointly develop an mobile entertainment multimedia platform. ®