Nvidia Goes Mobile with MediaQ Acquisition

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia Corp. on Monday announced a
major expansion into the wireless sector with a $70 million deal to acquire
handheld graphics chip specialist MediaQ.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nvidia, which commands the
market
for high-definition 2-D and 3-D graphics processors, said the
all-cash deal would extend its platform reach and speed up its entry into
the wireless mobile markets.

The acquisition has been approved by both companies’ board of directors
and is expected to close in the third quarter this year.

MediaQ, a privately held firm which launched in 1997 with backing from
National Semiconductor, Weston Presidio Capital, Summit Accelerator Fund,
Infineon Technologies, El Dorado Ventures and ViVentures, markets chip
technologies, drivers for the major handheld providers, including Microsoft
PocketPC, SmartPhone, Palm and Symbian.

MediaQ’s flagship technologies are used to enhance visual display
capabilities on wireless devices. Customers like Mitsubishi, Siemens and
Dell Computer use MediaQ to improve connectivity and minimize chip and
system-level power consumption.

With the deal, Nvidia expands its graphics muscle into the handheld
mobile space. “MediaQ has made significant penetration and created strong
relationships with key technology leaders in the areas of handsets, LCD
displays, and PDAs, all essential ingredients in the 3G mobile multimedia
revolution,” said Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.

“The acquisition extends Nvidia’s competencies in ultra low power design
methodologies and system-on-chip designs, as well as in the Microsoft Pocket
PC, Microsoft SmartPhone, Palm, and Symbian operating systems,” Huang
added.

The acquisition comes as Nvidia is redoubling
its efforts on the nForce platform processor. Earlier this year, the
company also scored a multi-year
deal
with IBM to manufacture some of Nvidia’s GeForce chips using the
130-nanometer process.

News Around the Web