DailyTech – Google Teases at Android 4.4 “KitKat”, Device Giveaway

Google says too few people knew how Key Lime Pie tasted to name it thatfp__Android_KitKat_Thumb

After being stuck on “Jelly Bean” (Android 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3) for over a year, people were starting to wonder when the next major name change might land for the world’s most used mobile operating system.

I. Android 4.4 is Android “KitKat”

Well the wait is over, with Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android chief Sundar Pichai posting a picture on Twitter that confirms that the next version of Android will be dubbed “KitKat” and will have the version number Android 4.4.
KitKats are popular chocolate bars with a crunchy biscuit inside stick shaped pieces. The confection is made by Swiss candy and beverage company Nestle SA (VTX:NESN). The announcement took many by surprise as the rumor was that Google was going to adopt the more brand agnostic dessert “Key Lime Pie“.  Google was also rumored to bump the version number to 5.0.

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II. No Key Lime Pie For You

John Lagerling — Google’s director of Android global partnerships — told BBC News in an interview today that the branding was indeed a corporate tieup, but that Google was not paid to use the name.  He says that the decision was meant to be “fun and unexpected”, remarking, “This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal.”
Source: DailyTech.

DailyTech – Is LG Making Monstrous Megalodon for Google Nexus 5 Android Superphone?

Phone will reportedly feature Snapdragon 800, 3 GB of LPDDR3, and 1080p OLED screen

Android and Me is reporting on an interesting rumor about a supposed prototype for Google Inc.’s (GOOG) next generation Nexus phone (the fifth generation model).  Supposedly, LG Electronics, Inc. (KSC:066570) is competing for the contract with a model called “Megalodon”, which appears to have a truly monstrous spec.

The Google-branded smartphones have been a tradition for Google since the 2010 Nexus One by HTC Corp. (TPE:2498).  The Nexus One was succeeded by the Nexus S (Dec. 2010), Galaxy Nexus (Nov. 2011) from Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), Nexus 4 (Nov. 2012) by LG Electronics

LG will have to work hard to win another contract from Google.  While its Nexus 4 was well received and a hot seller, it was set back by troubling supply shortages during the 2012 holiday season.  A Google rep. described the supplies as “scarce and erratic” — not exactly a glowing recommendation.

But the spec sheet on the Megalodon (if accurate) is hard not to love:

5.2″ OLED Display with 1920×1080 resolution

Qualcomm Inc. (QCOMSnapdragon 800 @ 2.3 GHz

3GB LPDDR3 Ram

16/32/64GB of internal storage

16MP rear camera by OmniVision (4k video recording @30FPS, 1080p video recording @60FPS, Real Time HDR & HDR video recording, optical image stabilization, BSI 2.0)

2.1MP front camera (1080p video recording @30FPS)

3300 mAh Lithium Polymer battery

Front positioned stereo speakers

Qualcomm RF360 (LTE 150 Mbps & HSPA+)

Integrated DVB-T / ATSC-antenna

Gesture like controls (navigation, zoom, etc)


A supposed picture of the “Megalodon” prototype. [Image Source: Android and Me]

The gesture control makes sense; it would put the device in line with Samsung’s just-releasedGalaxy S IV.  The 1080p screen resolution is also pretty predictable; both the HTC One and the GSIV pack 1080p.  The surprises are the inclusion of OLED — a technology LG is indeed pursuing hard — the large battery, and the super-powerful Snapdragon 800.

The Snapdragon 800 won’t be sampling till early next quarter, making the rumor a bit hard to believe.  If LG can pull off the device by the expected October launch date for the Nexus 5, it will have to snatch up much of the early production of Qualcomm’s most prized upcoming high-end chip.

An image (above) also leaked, but it’s hard to see whether the case will be metal or plastic (it looks like the rim is either metal or metallic toned plastic, at least).

Not all past “leaks” of Nexus products panned out; Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) was rumored to be working on a 5-inch Nexus prototype for holiday season last year; instead Google went with the 4.7-inch device from LG.

Source: Android and Me

Source: DailyTech.

DailyTech – Belkin Completes Linksys Purchase

Linksys name will live on

Back in late January of 2013, Belkin announced that it intended the purchase Linksys from Cisco. Cisco had originally purchased Linksys for $500 million in 2003 in an effort to gain access to the consumer networking market. That investment didn’t work out so well for Cisco and the company began searching for a buyer last year.

Belkin announced on March 15 that it completed its acquisition of Linksys. Belkin will continue to manage Linksys as a separate brand and product portfolio, which means the Linksys name will live on as promised.


“Linksys has a rich heritage, a passionate customer base and a wide product line, all of which fueled our decision to acquire the company and our plan to maintain the Linksys brand,” said Chet Pipkin, CEO of Belkin.

Belkin says that Linksys customers and retailers will continue to see new products carrying the name come to the market in the near future. Belkin says that several new announcements will be made sometime this spring.

Support will continue for existing Linksys products and all warranties that are currently valid will be honored on Linksys products.

Source: Belkin

Source: DailyTech.

DailyTech – TSMC Demonstrates Dual-core Cortex-A9 Operating at Over 3GHz

28 nm design is likely to be the most powerful ARM architecture core yet; perfect for PCs
ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) has long been known for its lightweight intellectual property cores, which have dominated everything from slot machines to smartphones. Power and ARM cores weren’t typically words you heard uttered in the same sentence. But with ARM preparing to invade the laptop space, courtesy of Windows 8 RT (ARM edition), the world is getting its first taste of ARM cores clocked at the speeds usually reserved for PC users.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2330) today announced an important milestone, achieving a stable core clock of 3.1 gigahertz with a Cortex-A9 dual-core chip. The air-cooled chip, built on TSMC’s new 28 nm process, typically operates at lower clock speeds. However, the chip is capable of overclocking to over 3 GHz when performance demands it — much like rival Intel Corp.’s (INTC) “Turbo”-equipped chips.
The chips typically cruise at a more battery-friendly 1.5-2.0 GHz. Thus, while partners’ proprietary designs based on the rapidly maturing process will likely be targeted primarily at the laptop market, there’s also the possibility of seeing such speedy designs in tablets or even smartphones.
ARM core
ARM and TSMC are showing that Intel isn’t the only one who can play the speed game, showing off a 3 GHz core. [Image Source: Maximum PC]
Cliff Hou, TSMC Vice President, Research & Development, brags, “At 3.1 GHz this 28HPM dual-core processor implementation is twice as fast as its counterpart at TSMC 40nm under the same operating conditions. This work demonstrates how ARM and TSMC can satisfy high performance market demands. With other implementation options, 28HPM [high performance mobile] is also highly suited for a wide range of markets that prize performance and power efficiency.”
ARM Holdings and allies like TSMC need the strong showing. While they have tremendous potential for growth if they can capture some laptop market share from Intel, they’re also facing a counterattack on the smartphone front from Intel.
Intel’s first generation Medfield chips have finally arrived in a limited selection of smartphones, and battery life has been better than expected. Competition will heat up in 2013 when Intel swaps the 32 nm node Atom Medfield’s for a die-shrunk 22 nm version, featuring Intel’s power-saving 3D tri-gate transistor design.
In other words ARM, et al. and Intel will be fiercely competing to deliver the most powerful chip computationally with the least electric power consumed. TSMC’s latest effort shows that it can crank up core speeds, but does it have the goods power-efficiency wise? That remains to be seen.
ARM at least has one trick up its sleeve — the upcoming ARM Cortex-A15 architecture.
Source: TSMC
Source: DailyTech.

T-Mobile’s German Parent Unveils World’s Fast Fiber Signal — 512 Gbps – DailyTech

Usable data rate is 400 Gbps, 4x current top speeds; should allow for supercharged smartphone networksThere are two major determinants of cellular data network speeds. The first is the physical broadcast infrastructure, which takes into account factors such as number of towers, placement, type of spectrum, and amount of spectrum available. The second major determinant is the physical network backbone — typically fiber cable.
Every signal that goes to or from your smartphone must be transmitted through a fiber backbone. The faster that backbone is, the faster a carrier’s services become, regardless of wireless transmission technology.
The “T-Labs” research group of T-Mobile USA’s German parent Deutsche Telekom AG (ETR:DTE) made a splash this week, announcing [press release] that it had worked the kinks out of ultra fast fiber optic transmission, which travel at a theoretical data transfer speed of 512 Gbps (or “the simultaneous transmission of 77 music CDs” as T-Labs puts it).

Fiber Optics
Fiber optic communications just got much faster. [Image Source: AllPosters]

Real world performance isn’t far behind. Deutsche Telekom observed real world speeds of 400 Gbps during a 734 km round-trip along a single-optical fiber test channel running between Hanover and the capital city of Berlin.
400 Gbps is a pretty impressive figure, given that the current fastest deployed fiber networks run at around 100 Gbps, with most networks well behind that even. T-Labs plans to bundle together 48 of the single channels into a bundle that will offer a combined throughput of around 18.75 Tbps (18,750,000,000,000 bit/s) (24.6 Tbps, theoretical).
Deutsche Telekom describes the breakthrough in terms that surely would rile the Recording Industry Association of America — “A collection of 3,696 CDs could thus be transferred over a single optical fiber — a strand thinner than a human hair — at the same time.”
The cutting edge research is part of the company’s “Optically Supported IP Router Interfaces” (OSIRIS) project.

OSIRIS bench
“I was working in the lab, late one night…” [Image Source: T-Labs]

For the professional network and electrical engineers T-Mobile offers up some juicy technical tidbits:

The Telekom OSIRIS (Optically Supported IP Router Interfaces) research project realized transmission at a speed of 512 Gbit/s (400 Gbit/s usable bit rate) on a 100 GHz wavelength channel over a distance of 734 km, thus demonstrating a spectral sensitivity of 5 bits/s/Hz in the Deutsche Telekom network.
This tremendous transmission performance was reached using innovative transmission technology with two carrier frequencies, two polarization planes, 16-QAM quadrature amplitude modulation and digital offline signal processing for the equalization of fiber influences with soft-FEC forward error correction decoding in the receiver.
The WDM transmission link consisted of a total of 14 standard single-mode fiber sections with dispersion compensation as required for the neighboring conventional 10 Gbit/s channels. The high optical input powers of the conventional 10 Gbit/s channels and the dispersion compensation in the fiber sections interfere with the innovative transmission technology due to nonlinearities, including self-phase modulation by the higher input power and cross-phase modulation by the adjacent channels. Despite these worst-case conditions, it was possible to demonstrate the transfer of the innovative high-speed signal simultaneously with conventional 10 Gbit/s signals in adjacent channels in an existing system.

So what’s the best part about the new technology? It requires no fiber replacement — it merely requires new receivers/transmitters. Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs believes that it is read for commercialization, once the technology is incorporated into the terminal equipment from network vendors like Sweden’s Ericsson SpA (STO:ERIC B), China’s Huawei, France’s Alcatel-Lucent (EPA:ALU), and Nokia Siemens (a joint venture between Finland’s Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) and Germany’s Siemens AG (ETR:SIE)).
Source: T-Labs
Source: DailyTech.

DailyTech – AMD Acquires Cloud Server Maker SeaMicro for $334M USD

AMD’s heavily threaded Bulldozer, APUs, GCN are good fits for Seamicro’s compact cloud computing serversAdvanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) has struggled mightily in the server market in recent years, seeing its market share fall from nearly 15 percent in 2007 to less than half that — roughly 6.5 percent in 2011.
I. AMD Server Division — In Need of a Turnaround
AMD can try to write off part of its struggles to rival Intel Corp. (INTC) using anti-competitive techniques to squelch its performance during its strong years in the middle of the last decade, a big part of the troubles have come due to AMD’s trailing die shrink timing, which has not improved since it spun off its fabs. While AMD finally dropped a new architecture (Bulldozer) in Sept. 2011, it disappointed in clock speeds and power performance — something that may be attributable to die shrinks. Difficulty getting to 32 nm may have left AMD with too little time to thoroughly test and refine the new cores.

Approximately 21.89 percent of AMD’s market share is tied up in its server sales, so clearly this is a major issue for the company and its shareholders. AMD desperately needed a new tactic. While allowing competitive interplay between Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2330) and GlobalFoundries in die shrinks may be a potential long term solution, AMD needed something more immediate.

That’s why the news of its acquisition of SeaMicro for $334M USD (a mix of $281M USD cash and stock) is a bit surprising, but a bit unsurprising. The small 80-person Silicon Valley server maker is known as a premium maker of highly dense and power-efficient servers. It sells heavily to large-scale cloud computing businesses.

AMD
AMD’s stock price is heavily dependent on server performance. [Image Source: Trefis]

II. Meet SeaMicro

The move is also a boon to Santa Clara, California manufacturer NBS. Unlike Apple, Inc. (AAPL), Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ), Dell, Inc. (DELL) and others, SeaMicro doesn’t have its servers assembled by Chinese laborers working under sweatshop like conditions. It’s made in America, by blue collar workers earning a respectable living.

While it only spends a tenth of the research and development budget (~$50M USD per year) as Dell or HP, SeaMicro’s product is viewed as very competitive from a technology basis. But SeaMicro can work intimately with its American manufacturing partner, building prototypes, trialing optimizations, and working out bugs before production hits.

SeaMicro partner NBS
SeaMicro makes its servers in California — not China. It contracts NBS, a small local manufacturer (pictured). [Image Source: Ariel Zambelich/Wired]

All of this is good news for AMD; as SeaMicro’s strength in terms of power and density could offset its weaknesses in power performance, while accentuate its strengths in highly-threaded performance.

SeaMicro currently exclusively sells Intel-based servers — a mixture of Xeon (Sandy Bridge) based tightly-packed 10 RU designs and mixed 10 RU designs incorporating Intel Atom chips for lighter workloads. The Atom servers use the dual-core 64-bit Atom N570 chip (8.5W TDP). SeaMicro’s unique 10 RU form factor squeezes one to two tower racks into a single compact box-like form factor.

SeaMicro 10 RU
SeaMicro makes compact 10 RU “box” servers. [Image Source: SeaMicro]

AMD pledges — for now — to continue to make Intel-based SeaMicro servers. But it states that special AMD Opteron-based designs will be released before the end of the year.

SeaMicro claims four-fold power reduction and six-fold space reduction by eliminating the typical busy server chipset to just three chips, via proprietary interconnect technology.

SeaMicro server
SeaMicro’s server boards drastically slash space and power via custom chipsets.
[Image Source: SeaMicro]

The approach is rather different from the more traditional designs of SeaMicro’s primary competitors.

III. Folding in Piledriver, APUs, GCN GPUs, ARM into Thread-Shredding Beasts

In the long term this deal makes a lot of sense. AMD, given its scant stake (and given SeaMicro’s modest market share) can likely phase out Intel’s designs. In cloud workloads Bulldozer and its successor Piledriver could truly shine in the one area AMD currently beats Intel — thread performance.

Look at AMD’s Feb. 2012 roadmap, there were hints at the pending acquisition, which SeaMicro CEO Andrew Feldman says happened “unbelievably quickly.”
AMD Server roadmap

AMD could also drop in Hondo (ultra-low power) or Brazos 2.0 (low power) cores in 2012. Then in 2013 it can follow with Temash (ultra-low power) and Kabini (low power).
AMD consumer roadmap APUs and GPUs

The Brazos C-50 and C-60 chips already are on par with the N570 in a dual-cores performing at 9W, though they lag in clock speed (1.0 GHz). But recall, that these chips have a beefier GPU than Atom.

One possibility is that AMD may deliver variants of its low power cores without the GPU. Alternatively, once it can incorporate its new compute-friendly Graphics Core Next GPU architecture, it could use on-APU GPU computing to handle cloud workloads.

And AMD has stated it may even adopt ARM designs, which means that SeaMicro could be soon travelling down the road Dell and HP are currently exploring [1][2].

Assuming AMD explores these tracks thoroughly, its new subsidiary could soon be producing some sweet thread-shredding mixed designs.
Source: DailyTech.

DailyTech – Intel Shows 22nm 50-Core “Knights Corner” CPU

Over 1 TeraFLOPS on a single chip

22517_large_22513_large_KnightsCorner
GPGPU and cloud computing have been hot topics for the last several years. Intel has shown off several designs like Larrabee and the Single-chip Cloud Computer in the past. However, it is Knights Corner that will be the firm’s first commercial product to use the Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture. The co-processor will be offered as a PCIe add-in board.

The MIC concept is simple: Use architecture specifically designed to process highly parallel workloads, but ensure compatibility with existing x86 programming models and tools.

This would give MIC co-processors the ability to run existing applications without the need to port the code to a new programming environment, theoretically allowing maximum CPU and co-processor performance simultaneously with existing x86 based applications. This would dramatically save time, cost and resources that would otherwise be needed to rewrite them to alternative proprietary languages.

AMD and NVIDIA have been trying to do with their latest architectures by enabling support for languages like C++, but Intel wants to challenge them in this potentially lucrative market.

Knights Corner will be manufactured using Intel’s latest 3-D Tri-Gate P1270 22nm transistor process and will feature more than 50 cores. Intel demonstrated first silicon of Knights Corner at the SC11 conference yesterday. The co-processor wowed the crowd by delivering more than 1 TeraFLOPS of double precision floating point performance.

The firm also touted its “commitment to delivering the most efficient and programming-friendly platform for highly parallel applications”, and showed off the benefits of the MIC architecture in weather modeling, tomography, protein folding, and advanced materials simulation at its booth.

There is no timeframe on when Knights Corner will enter production or be available to customers.
Source: DailyTech.

Apple May Switch to Inferior, Pricier Chips to Spite Samsung – DailyTech

Analysts suggests Apple’s customers may hardly notice the difference, even if they’re paying more

Even as Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.’s (SEO 005930) legal woes [1][2][3][4][5] regarding Apple, Inc.’s (AAPL) campaign of lawsuits and trade court complaints continue, it faces a perhaps more serious crisis in the form of an eroding supply relationship with its legal rival.  Samsung currently “has its cake and eats it too”, enjoying a position in that it’s the world’s second largest phone manufacturer, and at the same time drawing a great deal of revenue from the world’s largest phone manufacturer, Apple, whom it supplies NAND flash memory.  But that comfortable situation for Samsung could be coming to an end.

I. Apple Expected to Dump Samsung

Nho Geun-chang, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities tells Reuters in an interview, “Samsung’s tablet business will be most affected and its chip business will also take a hit as Apple moves to diversify away from Samsung to the likes of Toshiba. For Samsung, (the) biggest concern is reduced order from Apple. Without Apple’s big backing, it would be difficult for Samsung to boost its chip market share sharply.”

Mr. Geun-chang suggests that while the chips from rival suppliers will likely be slightly inferior in reliability, power performance, and other metrics, and may increase device costs, Apple’s unquestioningly loyal customer will hardly notice the difference.  He comments, “Apple is leveraging the fact that it’s got alternative suppliers. They may offer inferior or more expensive components but it’s something consumers barely notice and something Apple can successfully use to pressure Samsung.”

II. Device Business is More Lucrative for Samsung

The battle against Apple may prove painful, given the slow death of its lucrative supply contract, but it’s one that Samsung must commit to, according to Mr. Geun-Chang.

Samsung’s supplier contracts to Apple in calendar Q1 2011 constituted 5.8 percent of its revenue, up from 4 percent ($5.7B USD) a year prior.  But its devices business is too valuable to sacrifice even for the lucrative supply contract — device sales will soon constitute over half of the company’s revenue, according to analysts.  States Mr. Geun-chang, “[T]aking passive steps for fear of losing its biggest customer will slow down strong growth momentum at its telecoms business, which Samsung doesn’t want to see as the business is set to become the biggest earnings generator this year and make up for weakening chip profits. It’ll be a costly battle for Samsung.”

Some say the lawsuit campaign could hurt Apple more than Samsung.  Aside from possible quality and price issues with a supplier switch, Apple may be creating the perception that Samsung is the best of the competition.  States Choi Do-youn, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities, “These legal battles are raising perception among consumers that Samsung is the only one capable of competing against Apple.”

There’s some truth in that belief.  Samsung is by far the top Android phone manufacturer and holds a huge lead in tablet sales over other Android manufacturers.  In the tablet sector it’s the only company to be currently giving serious chase to Apple, selling 7.5 million tablets in H1 2011, compared with Apple’s 14 million.

On the smart phone side Samsung’s diversified approach is paying even greater dividends.  The company’s broad lineup, which includes the best-selling Galaxy family of smart phones, posted 500 percent growth in Q2 2011, compared to an impressive, but lesser 142 percent growth by Apple.  Some expect Samsung to dethrone Apple’s brief reign atop global smart phone sales (by manufacturer) when the Q3 2011 numbers come out next month.

Samsung and Apple are now suing each other in at least 23 lawsuits or trade complaints in 10 different countries.  One key trade complaint will be Apple’s request to ban sales of Samsung’s tablets and smart phones, via an import ban, which the U.S. International Trade Commission will consider [docket record] next month.  In anticipation of that hearing, Verizon Communications, Inc. (VZ) has filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of Samsung, saying an import ban would create economic harm to U.S. customers and lead to job loss.

Some are holding out hope that the pair will settle their dispute outside court, similar to Apple and Finland’s Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V).  Comments HSBC analyst Daniel Kim, “The most likely scenario is an out-of-court settlement, after a long-drawn IP battle… As in the case of the Nokia-Apple dispute, this issue too is likely to be settled out of the court, after a long drawn legal dispute.”
Source: DailyTech.

DailyTech – SETI Receives Over $200,000 in Donations; Allen Telescope Array Back in Action

In June, SETI and its fans in Silicon Valley organized a website for donations called SETIstars

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Back in April of this year, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) was temporarily shut down due to reduced federal dollars and a state budget crisis. But after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from fans, SETI is now back in action.
SETI, which is located in Mountain View, California, searches the skies for extraterrestrial life through the use of the Allen Telescope Array located 290 miles northeast of San Francisco. There are 42 telescopes that measure 20-feet-wide in this array, and they operate 24 hours per day. Research and development of the telescopes began in 2001 after a $11.5 million contribution from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and construction of the telescopes began in 2004 after a $13.5 million donation from Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen. The Allen Telescope Array became fully functional in 2007.

On April 22, 2011, lack of funding put the telescopes on hold. SETI CEO Tom Pierson even described staff cuts that would take place. Loss of funding from the University of California at Berkeley was the biggest financial hit, since it was SETI’s partner in operating the array.

But believers of the unknown didn’t take this lying down. In June, SETI and its fans in Silicon Valley organized a website for donations called SETIstars. By August 3, the site had $200,000 in donations, which is what SETI needed to continue operations. Since then, another $4,000 in contributions have rolled in.

“We’re not completely out of the woods yet, but everybody’s smiling here,” said Pierson. “We think we’re going to come out of hibernation and be solid for the next five months or so, and during those five months we’re going to take care of calendar year 2013 and put that under our belt.”

A few big names that contributed to SETIstars were Larry Niven, science fiction writer who created the “Ringworld” series; Bill Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut who flew around the moon in 1968; and Jodie Foster, actress who portrayed a SETI researcher in the movie “Contact.”

“It is absolutely irresponsible of the human race not to be searching for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence,” wrote Anders in a message with his donation.

While this $200,000+ has helped pull SETI out of hibernation, it’s not the end of the financial line needed to get SETI into the clear. Pierson noted that the institute is looking to cut operating costs and the cost of science operations, which equates to about $2.5 million annually. A new operating model is needed now that UC Berkeley is out of the picture.

In the future, SETI astronomers hope to use the Allen Telescope Array to listen for signals from NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting mission, which identifies planetary systems. But this project would need about $5 million in order to be pursued. Also, Pierson hopes to work with the U.S. Air Force, who could use the array to track “orbital objects” that may be a threat to satellites.

Until then, SETI researchers are just happy to have an operational telescope array once again.
Source: DailyTech.

DailyTech – VIA, WTI Sell Stakes in S3 Graphics to HTC

Apple might be in HTC’s cross hairs

The GPU will become increasingly important as mobile phone firms seek to squeeze more and more performance out of smartphones for gaming and streaming of video. VIA has announced today that it has sold its stake in S3 Graphics to HTC. HTC is well known in the Android smartphone and tablet realm.
VIA, WTI, and HTC have signed an agreement that will see all shares in S3 go to HTC. VIA acquired S3 in 2001. The terms of the agreement show HTC will pay $300 million for all of the outstanding shares of S3 Graphics. VIA will receive $147 million of that amount and VIA’s current partner WTI Investment International will receive $153 million.

The capital gain for VIA will be $37 million with $115 million paid-in capital for the transaction. The proposed transaction has been approved by the boards of VIA, WTI, and HTC. WTI became a partner with VIA in S3 in 2005 when S3 Graphics became undercapitalized.

We can assume that HTC wants the mobile graphics company to improve on the graphics processing in its smartphones and to be able to design and build its own graphics processors for its products.

“The transaction would allow VIA to monetize a portion of its rich IP portfolio, yet retain its graphics capabilities to support the development and sale of its processors and chipsets,” said Tzu-mu Lin, Senior Vice President and Board Director of VIA. “We wish to thank WTI for its capital contribution to support S3 Graphics since 2005.”

Perhaps more interesting about the deal is the fact that Apple was recently found to infringe on two patents held by S3 Graphics. This will put HTC in the position to possible force a large settlement out of Apple or a patent agreement. Apple’s iPhone is the largest competitor to Android smartphones that HTC produces.
Source: DailyTech.