Will VIA buy STM's graphics division?
VIA today confirmed that they held talks with ST Microelectronics (STM) yesterday, Tuesday, about the purchase of the graphics chip division. Neither party announced any details, however, and above all, STM did not give any identities of other interested parties.
STM had The Kyro II chip was launched on the market in 2001 as the last GPU, but the chip did not sell as well as expected. At the beginning of February 2002, STM announced that it wanted to sell its graphics chip division with ImgTec/PowerVR (we reported). VIA is now the first name that has become known to previous potential buyers. With S3, VIA has had its own graphics chip division since 2000, but is only active and successful in the notebook sector with the Savage chips. In the meantime, VIA/S3 is developing a new graphics chip called Zoetrope, which is due to hit the market in the middle of the year. With the purchase of ImgTec/PowerVR, VIA would have access to new technologies and could thus also make itself strong in the area of desktop graphics chips, possibly even becoming number three among graphics chip manufacturers alongside ATi and Nvidia.