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Monday, July 22, 2013
Google Invests In Taiwanese Chipmaker, Buys Speech Recognition Patents


Google will take a 6.3 percent stake in the unit of Taiwanese chipmaker Himax Technologies that develops display technology for devices such as Google Glass, Himax said on Monday.

Seperately, Google also today acquired from the SR Tech Group a portfolio of U.S. patents and patent applications that includes several speech related patents. The portfolio includes U.S. Patent No. 7,742,922, titled ?Speech interface for search engines? and U.S. Patent No. 8,056,070, titled ?System and method for modifying and updating a speech recognition program?. M.D. Goller and S.E. Goller are the listed inventors for all issued patents and patent applications in the portfolio.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Himax Technologies, Inc. is a supplier and fabless manufacturer of advanced display drivers and other semiconductor products. The company has entered into an agreement with Google pursuant to which Google has agreed to invest in the company's subsidiary, Himax Display Inc. (HDI).

The purpose of the investment is to fund production upgrades, expand capacity and further enhance production capabilities at HDI's facilities that produce liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) chips and modules used in applications including head - mounted display (HMD) such as Google Glass, head-up display (HUD) and pico- projector products.

Under the agreement, Himax will also invest additional amount in HDI to fund its ongoing capacity expansion.

HDI will also use a portion of the proceeds to reduce its loan from Himax.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Google will purchase certain amount of preferred shares in HDI. Upon closing, Google will hold a 6.3% interest in HDI. Google also has an option to make additional investment of preferred shares at the same price within one year from closing. If the option is exercised in full, Google will own a total of up to 14.8% in HDI.

Google will join the core group of HDI shareholders including KPCB Holdings, Inc., Khosla Ventures I, L.P. and Intel Capital Corporation.


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