MUNICH, Germany Royal Philips Electronics BV has bought a minority stake in Improv Systems Inc., a provider of configurable hardware and software design platforms for voice-over-IP, networking and emerging media applications.
According to a source close to the deal, Philips (Amsterdam, Netherlands) has made an investment of $9 million, although what proportion of Improv (Beverly, Mass.) equity the investment has secured has not been disclosed.
Philips Semiconductors and STMicroelectronics, two European chip giants that have done much to pioneer system-on-chip (SoC) and platform-based design methods, are both licensees of Improv's technology.
According to Improv, Philips made its investment for both the financial opportunity and to provide its semiconductor division with a closer relationship with the company, which has announced the commercial availabilit y of its Jazz PSA (Programmable System Architecture) platform.
"The semiconductors division of Philips has been impressed with the Improv scalable architecture and its software development environment," commented Theo Claasen, chief technology officer of Philips Semiconductors. "It complements our existing range of advanced processing components to give us a broader spectrum of embedded systems technologies. Combined with our processor choices such as Trimedia, MIPS and ARM, we believe we have the broadest range of industry standard components to underpin our Nexperia platform concept."
Cary Ussery, Improv's president, said, "By offering a configurable DSP core with specific focus on the voice-over-IP market, Improv is well-suited to enable Philips to achieve its long-term vision for the future of SoC design." He added, "An investment like this, from one of the world's largest semiconductor suppliers, demonstrates that the market is ready for configurable processors and the move to platform-based des ign."