It’s war over MIPS Technologies

Contact: Tejas Venkatesh

The bidding war over mobile and embedded chip IP company MIPS Technologies continued Tuesday as CEVA upped the ante again, offering $90m for the operating business of MIPS. The topping bid came just one day after Imagination Technologies raised its offer to $80m. MIPS will give CEVA a boost in its existing markets and a chance to extend into system-on-chip products from simple digital signal-processing (DSP) cores, which aren’t seeing much growth.

CEVA’s latest offer is a 50% premium to Imagination’s initial agreement with MIPS three weeks ago. The current round of bidding values the company at 1.1x trailing sales. MIPS is a solid fit for either suitor. While CEVA is motivated by declining prospects in its core single-function DSP market, MIPS will help Imagination better compete with ARM Holdings. There is little overlap with their products and customers, and the deal will help Imagination enter brand-new niches in networking and infrastructure. MIPS is also already directly supported by the Android OS.

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