HTC buys S3 Graphics from VIA, no one really sure what exactly they’ll do with the company

s3graphics

VIA Technologies, a Taiwanese processor vendor that no one really knows about since if you’re buying a computer these days chances are it runs on either Intel or AMD silicon, has announced that they’ve sold S3 Graphics, which they purchased in 2001, to HTC for a cool $300 million. What exactly does S3 Graphics do? They’ve got expertise in the video card space and were the leaders of PC graphics in the late 80s and early 90s. In 2010 S3 Graphics sued Apple for patent violation and just a few days ago the courts declared that Apple has indeed infringed on their patents. History lesson aside, the question we’re now asking each other at the office is just what the hell HTC plans to do with this new company?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that HTC makes smartphones while S3 Graphics makes video cards for personal computers. Do you see the problem? Say HTC wants to stick S3 Graphics technology into a smartphone, that would mean that they’d have to make their own processors, and as far as we’re aware HTC doesn’t have an ARM license, they instead use generic run of the mill Qualcomm equipment. There goes that theory. Here’s another: HTC is planning to expand into the consumer electronics space. Every year some analyst says that Apple is going to come out with their own television, so why shouldn’t HTC beat them to the punch? Then again what does HTC know about televisions, and aren’t televisions sold at impossibly thin margins? Ok, so … what else? What if HTC enters the mobile computer space? We’re talking laptops now. Why wouldn’t they want to use S3 Graphics technology if they can pair it up with an Intel Atom CPU and get insane battery life as well as decent performance?

Who knows folks, this one is something we’ll only figure out with time. Leave your theory in the comments section below.

  • Jack Nicholas

    HTC wants to collect license fees from Apple?

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Spending $300 million just so you can get a check every year for a fraction of that amount doesn’t make too much sense.

  • http://twitter.com/w_elegancko Chester Copperfield

    Because when AMD acquired ATI, no one knew what they were planning to do with it. You seem to know little and are sure about even less, Stefan. 

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Actually when AMD purchased ATI they specifically said that the future would be in co-processing. It was clear from day one.

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Actually when AMD purchased ATI they specifically said that the future would be in co-processing. It was clear from day one.

  • Bruce

    It may not be the money from Apple that HTC wants, but this purchase may give them leverage in other ongoing patent and licensing fights. Laptops from HTC is an interesting idea. Other than that, well, as you say we may just have to wait and see.

  • Anonymous

    pretty sure this was done for patent / IP reasons.  S3 still controls alot of patents for computer graphics – they were they ones responsible for texture compression/decompression in direct 3d.  also its probably leverage against apple – I think there was an ITC ruling against Apple claiming they violated some patents owned by S3

  • Jlliu

    Up to now, I still don’t see any thing, unless HTC wants to own S3′s patents.

  • Jlliu

    Up to now, I still don’t see any thing, unless HTC wants to own S3′s patents.

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