British chip designer Imagination Technologies plans to acquire the operating business of processor maker MIPS Technologies, as well as some of its patents, in an effort to strengthen its position on smartphones. At the same time MIPS has also sold a majority of its patents to a group including ARM Holdings.
Imagination may not be a household name but its graphic processor designs are used on Apple’s latest iPads and the iPhone 5. Just like its compatriot and competitor ARM, the company licenses the technology necessary to build processors but doesn’t build any on its own.
Imagination is hoping to take advantage of its position as a supplier of graphics chip designs to mobile phone makers, using MIPS to sell them a main processor too.