SAN JOSE, Claif. ARM Holdings plc Wednesday (Feb.25) said it has backed out of a preliminary agreement to acquire Triscend Corp. after an undisclosed bidder made an offer to buy the fabless chip company.
The deal was squelched almost a month after ARM announced that it had signed an agreement to buy Triscend, a small fabless chip company that makes microcontrollers with ARM's 32-bit processor core and embedded blocks of configurable logic.
At that time, ARM said it wanted to sell the MCUs to customers as a way to promote the use of its processor cores in microcontrollers, a move it said would ultimately benefit the handful of chip companies now selling ARM-based MCUs in larger volumes.
But ARM said it decided to pull out after it learned of a competing bid from an undisclosed suitor. ARM and Triscend officials were not immediately available for comment.
"Triscend has informed ARM that it has received a competing offer for the business and, after due consideration, ARM has decided not to make a counter offer and the agreement has been terminated by mutual consent," according to a statement by ARM.
Many chip companies have expressed interest in adding configurable logic to their devices as a way to reduce the amount of time it takes to develop new chips and to give their customers the ability to tweak otherwise standard products. The Triscend approach uses an array of configurable logic elements connected to a microprocessor bus, which has been touted as an easy way to build bus interfaces and peripherals that hang off it.
Founded in 1997, privately-held Triscend is a 41-person operation based in Mountain View, Calif. Its investors include nine venture capital firms and several technology companies, including Quanta Computer, UMC and Wind River.