HTC acquires stake in S3 Graphics from VIA

This doesn’t make much sense but HTC has apparently decided to acquire a stake in S3 Graphics from VIA for US$300 million. Back in the 90s S3 was known for making discrete graphics cards and the now infamous S3 Virge which was also known as the first graphics “decelerator” because of its relatively poor performance. S3′s major claim of fame was the introduction of the S3TC texture compression algorithm which was later licensed by Microsoft and integrated into Direct3D as DXTn.

Anyway, it’s hard to figure out why HTC is making this move today but given their close ties with Qualcomm and their total lack of silicon design experience I would rule out the possibility of a chipset created by / for HTC in the short term (and there’s no way S3 can come up with a mobile GPU now and compete with the likes of ARM, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Imagination). This seems more like a relatively cheap way to secure some nice graphics and GPU related IPs just in case…

source: VIA via unwired