AUSTIN, Texas Dublin, Ireland-based Parthus Technologies agreed to spend at least $41 million to acquire 18-month-old acceleration technologies startup Chicory Systems Inc.
Parthus, which is assembling an intellectual property arsenal in the mobile arena, concurrently announced an application called MachStream that is based on the Chicory technology. MachStream will accelerate software running on a variety of wireless platforms, including Microsoft's Stinger environment and Symbian's EPOC platform. Parthus will use the technology in systems which processs JPEG digital images, to speed Java-based applications, wireless browsers and scripting languages such as XML. In addition, the technology will be used to accelerate MPEG-4 streaming video and MP3-based digital music, the Irish company said.
Tom Lee, vice president of sales and marketing at Chicory (Austin), said Parthus may spend as much as $75 million in total for Chicory, if certain pe rformance incentives are met.
The initial deal calls for Parthus to pay $11.7 million in cash and 22.6 million ordinary shares of stock, with an additional 20.6 million shares offered in performance incentives. The Chicory name will be retired, and the 26-person Austin operation will become the acceleration business unit of Parthus, which has about 450 employees worldwide. Founded in 1993, Parthus has divisions focused on Bluetooth, GPS, DSP, smart phones, 2.5-G GPRS radio and acceleration technologies. John Derrick, the former IBM engineer who founded Chicory, will run the acceleration business unit.
Lee said customers will introduce products later this year that include the Chicory technology. The company offers a hardware acceleration macro that can be integrated into chip sets used in mobile systems. The additional logic runs algorithms that boost the performance of Java and MPEG processing applications, at sharply lower power consumption levels.
"We are shipping products based on the ARM a nd MIPS 32-bit processor platforms. We started talking to Parthus about six months ago about distribution issues, because they have the same customers as we do and have a much larger sales staff of about 30. The technology has been very well received," Lee said.