Imagination Technologies snaps up CPU designer MIPS in an attempt to wrestle ARM

Looks like we can kiss goodbye to any lingering politeness in the rivalry between these two UK chip houses, because the smaller one has just embarked on a cheeky expansion. Having been known mainly for its PowerVR graphics processors, not least in many Apple products, Imagination Tech could potentially push into the CPU arena too, through its $60 million acquisition of MIPS Technologies. Just like ARM, MIPS designs low-power RISC processors for consumer electronics, but it has generally focused on smaller chips for devices like routers and TVs rather than smartphones and tablets. In addition to a portfolio of 82 exclusive patents, a squad of 160 MIPS engineers will now be transplanted to Imagination, where they'll no doubt be debriefed and reassigned to conquering the world. Meanwhile, in some sort of flanking move, ARM has paid a far higher sum of $170 million to gain access to a number of other MIPS patents.

[Thanks, Michael]