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Intel buys Silicon Hive for SoC smarts

Philips Electronics spinout caught

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Intel continues to build up its capabilities in software in general and in parallel processing in particular, as it announced today it has acquired Silicon Hive.

Silicon Hive was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The company incubated by Philips Electronics to develop compiler and other parallel processing tools to help make programming on system-on-chip (SoC) components easier, exploiting all the parallelism on cores and the chips to do more work for less heat.

The company was founded by Atul Sinha, who used to handle business development for Philips Research and who has served as the company's chief executive officer since its founding.

Back in April 2007 Philips spun out Silicon Hive, with private equity firm New Venture Partners leading its $10m Series A funding round with participation from TVM Capital. In October 2008, Silicon Hive got another $7m round of funding, which was led by Intel Capital, the private equity arm of the chip giant.

In February 2010, Silicon Hive and Intel inked a technology collaboration deal, which sought to apply Silicon Hive's parallel processing tools to Intel's Atom processors for the embedded systems market, and in the following month, the startup kicked out HiveLogic, its programming tools for SoCs used in smartphones and digital TVs. Storage chip maker LSI Logic licensed HiveLogic at that time.

Intel has not yet made a statement about the acquisition, but New Venture Partners said that Silicon Hive will contribute to Intel's efforts to make the Atom processor the chip of choice for netbooks, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and cars, and will be particularly helpful for multimedia and imaging, where Silicon Hive has done a lot of work.

Financial details of Intel's acquisition of Silicon Hive were not disclosed. ®

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