Intel and Creative agree a $50 million deal

Intel have been thriving over the past few years, taking back the share of the CPU market that AMD took from them in the early 2000’s. But it’s the end of an era, with their CEO Paul Otellini announcing his retirement.

Following that news, its come out that Intel and Creative have entered into a deal that will, among other things license out their GPU technology. The deal, worth $50 million in total, will sell Creative’s subsidiary ZiiLabs to Intel and divest the resources and assets to the chip behemoth for $30 million. The other $20 million will allow Intel to license some high-performance GPU technology owned by ZiiLabs.

ZiiLabs Limited design and develop silicon, that include the ZMS chips, for ZiiLabs Inc, but it’s proving more cost effective to outsource this part of the business to third party manufacturers. Sim Wong Hoo, CEO of Creative Technology has said:

As the next-generation advanced media processors beyond 28 nanometers (nm) become increasingly complex and expensive to develop, we must find new models to work with our partners and customers to drive continued product innovation. With this announcement, we gain increased flexibility with the ability to partner with multiple semiconductor companies on advanced design and process technologies, allowing us to mitigate risk while maintaining control over the long-term direction of our product portfolio.

Creative have been suffering losses for the past 3 years, so the company is looking to monetize its “formidable” 100+ patent portfolio that includes 3D graphics and media processing. Creative now plan to focus on its core strength, their audio products.

The transition between the two companies should be completed by the end of the year.

Source: ZDNet | Image courtesy of Slashgear

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Xahid said,
I thought, they only made Sound Cards ....

Creative aquired 3DLabs in 2002 (you might remember them from the early days of video cards) and since then they've been making mobile graphics chips under the name Ziilabs. Intel has always had terrible graphics chips and AMD is currently stomping them in APU graphics performance. Maybe this will give them a much needed boost in that area.

Skyfrog said,

Creative aquired 3DLabs in 2002 (you might remember them from the early days of video cards) and since then they've been making mobile graphics chips under the name Ziilabs. Intel has always had terrible graphics chips and AMD is currently stomping them in APU graphics performance. Maybe this will give them a much needed boost in that area.


Not sure. My experiance of creative GFX cards like the 3D blaster banshee was that they were good... For anything they worked on, and they worked on nothing, EVERYTHING had stability problems with them!

ingramator said,
Interesting move, a response to AMDs acquisition of ATI?

Few years late for that, It would have to be something like this to compare
AMD/ATI
INTEL/NVidia

Then its a fair fight.

The Laughing Man said,

Few years late for that, It would have to be something like this to compare
AMD/ATI
INTEL/NVidia

Then its a fair fight.


Yeah if they want to fight AMD they would have brought a good challenger

majortom1981 said,
Does this essentials give intel an arm license ? Zii labs used arm processors in their designs.

Intel can license ARM anytime, they'd just have to contact ARM holdings, cambridge UK and ask about licensing.

"Creative have been suffering losses for the past 3 years"

Well when customers see you screwing them over with drivers for the past two Windows releases, something is bound to give.

remixedcat said,
I remember the WILDCAT REALISM!!! cards... LOL

The Permedia 2, 3 model where one's that support gaming unlike the other like the
Glint, Older Permedia & Permedia NT, Oxygen, Wildcat and all Intense 3D Pro where Cad cards use less for anything other then Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Digital Content Creation (DCC)

Poor non-updated drivers, and frequent hardware launch's.

They just launched the "Sound Blaster Recon3d" and turn around then released the "Sound Blaster Z".

My old Asus Xonar DX 1x Pci Express card sounds better then my "Creative SB X-Fi Titanium".

The beginning of the end for Creative probably.

You can't screw customers with bad drivers forever ... ATI drivers are awesome when you compare them with Creative drivers.

Cl driver s can't be worse than m-audio. They still have windows 7 drivers for their revolution card under "testing". Their solution? Buy a new card.

corrosive23 said,
Cl driver s can't be worse than m-audio. They still have windows 7 drivers for their revolution card under "testing". Their solution? Buy a new card.

Sounds like Creative, they for example had the Beta tag on their drivers for Vista/7 for ever...

TechieXP said,
Would be nice if they had invested in the SoundBlaster too. Add that to the chipset for very nice onboard sound.

Only if they would have used the X-Fi 'cause the new one is worse than it...

Sound Cards! People still buy those?

Seriously, you come to my house and hook up your speakers and tell me if there is a noticeable difference between my "On board Audio" and most sound cards. 99% of the market doesn't need them, and frankly most people cant tell the difference in Audio quality anyway.

Creative Labs is going out of business because their business model was based on old ass PC hardware that had NO are almost no build in Audio.. remember "PC Speaker" sounds.. yeah, thats when they started making sound cards and they were a good investment then. Modern motherboards just dont need the extra help unless you are a PROFESSIONAL doing PROFESSIONAL audio work.. Any "Gamer" or "PC Enthusiast" who insists they need it is just fooling themselves.

Xionanx said,
Sound Cards! People still buy those?

Seriously, you come to my house and hook up your speakers and tell me if there is a noticeable difference between my "On board Audio" and most sound cards. 99% of the market doesn't need them, and frankly most people cant tell the difference in Audio quality anyway.

Probably because you're playing 128kbps MP3 and low fidelity games.

Those of us who play 24-bit 7.1 Blu-rays, FLAC, and other Hi-Fi sources most certainly hear the difference. Not to mention people who still have decent hearing.

A lot of people can't tell the difference between SD & HD, so get rid of HD.
Most people are happy with on-board video too, so get rid of those ATI/NVIDIA cards!
:eyeroll:

Xionanx said,
Sound Cards! People still buy those?

Seriously, you come to my house and hook up your speakers and tell me if there is a noticeable difference between my "On board Audio" and most sound cards. 99% of the market doesn't need them, and frankly most people cant tell the difference in Audio quality anyway.

Creative Labs is going out of business because their business model was based on old ass PC hardware that had NO are almost no build in Audio.. remember "PC Speaker" sounds.. yeah, thats when they started making sound cards and they were a good investment then. Modern motherboards just dont need the extra help unless you are a PROFESSIONAL doing PROFESSIONAL audio work.. Any "Gamer" or "PC Enthusiast" who insists they need it is just fooling themselves.


And about PC Speaker Sound back then in those day, it was baldly functional, suffered from distorted output and low volume and wasn't for Adlib Sound Card and Creative Labs Music System (1987) which later became the Creative Labs Game Blaster (1988) and final stick to the name Creative Labs Sound Blaster (1989)

You know that this is all because Microshalf kill off Direct Sound 3D and EAX in Vista on up
Just so you know EAX is an extension to DirectSound and DirectSound3D which provides sound effects processing to the hardware-accelerated buffers.

I take it you never play any EAX games because it like Stereo vs. 5.1 Sound.
It has nothing to do with today modern motherboards nor today fast CPU it has to do with fact that the on board Audio Codec are much better hardware then it was 5 years ago where Realtek and other was junk then, also another key factor is cost and driver support which OEM use them and as we all know CL gotten really bad driver support over years which has gone down hill, they do got good hardware it just that there driver team most be a brunch monkey.

You do know Professional Audio Sound Card are made for Multichannel Sound Input Recoding because you sure don't know anything.
Us gamer want all goodies 5.1 or 7.1 with all sound in real-world audio environment which can only be done with Real-Time Audio Hardware it like what nVidia dose with PhysX Engine Technology game get a more incredible environment effects.

On-board sound chips have killed Creative. 3 years ago I had a X-Fi soundcard. The Win7 driver had too many isuues. Had to sell it on Ebay. But afterwards I bought a Logitech G35 surround 7.1 headset. Perfect for gaming & no driver problems. Still working great with Win8 & their updated driver.
Anyway I have 7.1 surround on my mobo (Realtek onboard audio). Who cares about Creative anyway???

What a surprise... A post that has nothing to do with drivers ends up devolving into a mass of whining about supposedly terrible, unusable drivers.

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