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Philips spin-off sells design tools team to ARM

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ARM has bought DSP specialist Adelante Technologies' A|RT co-processor design tools operation.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition transfers ownership of A|RT to ARM, along with the Adelante's Adelante Technologies Belgium subsidiary, based in Leuven.

Adelante will continue to develop its other embeddable DSP designs, Saturn and Galaxic in its Dutch and US facilities. Like ARM, Adelante specialises in developing technology which it licenses to chip manufacturers rather than producing devices of its own. It focuses on wireless, media processing and what it calls "infotainment applications" - MPEG 2/4 and DVD encoding and decoding, in other words.

Adelante was formed in 2001 when Philips turned its DSP design operation into an independent company and merged it with Mentor Graphics' recently spun off Frontier Design subsidiary. Adelante's Leuven facility was formerly Frontier's home, where it created and maintained A|RT. Essentially, the sale of Adalante Technologies Belgium to ARM amounts to selling off Frontier.

That suggests there's some truth to industry rumours that emerged earlier this year that Philips wants to reintegrate Adelante. Philips owns 92 per cent of Adelante. It originally said it wanted to reduce its stake in the company to under 50 per cent, but in the semiconductor industry's current troubled economic climate, it has failed to find companies willing to invest in the spin-off. ®

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