NVIDIA today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ULi Electronics Inc. (ULi), a highly-regarded core logic developers of Taiwan.
NVIDIA invests in its platform solutions, which leverages the nForce media and communications processors (MCPs) and GeForce and Quadro graphics processing units. Additionally, the acquisition is expected to strengthen the Company's sales, marketing, and customer engineering presence in Taiwan and China.
Under the terms of the agreement, NVIDIA will pay 19 New Taiwan Dollars in cash for each outstanding ULi share and stock option, for a total of approximately $52 million (USD). The acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of the Company's fiscal year 2007, remains subject to the satisfaction of regulatory requirements and other customary closing conditions.
In addition, Nvidia is looking to enhance its relationship with UMC through the acquisition of ULi, accrding to Taiwanese industry sources. Nvidia currently places its major GPU and chipset orders with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which is an exclusive 90nm chip supplier for the graphics chip vendor.
Alex Kuo, president and chief executive officer, ULi, will join NVIDIA as a senior executive responsible for MCP sales, marketing, and support functions in Asia. NVIDIA intends to supply ULi customers with current products for the foreseeable future.
Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer, NVIDIA, stated: "Alex and his team have built a company admired for creating innovative products in the core logic arena. The acquisition provides an opportunity for NVIDIA to leverage a very talented engineering team in order to expand our MCP initiatives while building closer relationships with customers in Asia."
"At ULi, we have always believed that the opportunities in the MCP space are tremendous," added Mr. Kuo. "The strength of the NVIDIA world-class engineering and marketing organizations will enable the ULi team to take product design and development to the next level."
Nvidia's acquisition of ULI could enable the first to use Uli's patents, and such a move could be considered as a blow for rival chip maker ATI. For ATI, Uli South bridge chipsets were an alternative since they where pin compatible with ATI's corresponding chips. Actually, ULi supplied southbridge chips for use with ATI Technologies? Pentium 4 northbridge chips.
ATI will have to work on its own for its SB 600 South Bridge, unless is makes an aggreement with other chipset makers such as SIS or Via, although these are just speculations.