Wavey: When we chatted at ECTS I asked if you were actively seeking any other licensee's for PowerVR desktop PC products and you replied that you were perfectly happy with the relationship with ST. What changed since then and when did you first learn of ST's intentions of selling their graphics division?

DH: We've been aware of ST's plans for a while and are actively supporting ST in their discussions with potential buyers. Moreover, several other chip firms have approached us with a view to licensing the PowerVR design and negotiations are ongoing for a number of platforms.

Wavey: Its difficult to see many players entering such a competitive market as the graphics arena with highly competent players such as ATi and nVIDIA are you confident that PowerVR's products are potent enough to persuade someone to enter such a market based on your products?

DH: Yes. ST has proven PowerVR is viable in the market with sales of about 1M units so far and there are a number of companies who could leverage that success and fully exploit the potential of the PowerVR technology.

Wavey: What background would you expect any company purchasing ST's graphics division to have?

DH: They'd probably want to start with an existing route to market and a good customer base. I can't really give any hints to the identities of potential buyers though.

Wavey: ST has stated that they are in talks with at least one other company now. What's the danger that whatever company purchases ST's graphics division will opt to pursue their own roadmap rather than one based on PowerVR licenses, despite ST already purchasing licenses for PowerVR series 4 & 5?

DH: The most significant assets of ST's GPD are the existing products and its PowerVR licenses and of course we are in talks with potential buyers about the PowerVR roadmap for the future so I think it's unlikely that any buyer would opt to retask the ST team to another graphics technology.

Wavey: Is there the possibility that the division could be sold to an immediate competitor (i.e. ATi or nVIDIA)?

DH: Sure. I've always said we'd welcome any of these "competitors" as PowerVR licensees.

Wavey: In the event of that happening, how likely do you think it will be that Img will be able to persuade another company into the licensing of PowerVR PC desktop products?

DH: We've never actively sought to have multiple PC market partners. We'd be comfortable with one strong PC market partner - though that doesn't mean we won't sign up multiple partners if it's appropriate.

Wavey: The general assumption is that PowerVR series 4 is now quite far down the development path; assuming a buyer is found who is willing to carry on as ST were how much of a delay do you see this as having on the Series 4 development?

DH: I'd hope this can be resolved quickly and there will be minimal delay.

Wavey: Can you explain the cooperation between ST and IMG. What is each partner really doing and how hard is it to move the work that ST used to do to a new partner?

DH: We design the PowerVR technology and carry that design through right up to layout. ST handles everything from there through manufacture and into sales. We have joint responsibilites in terms of technology marketing though product marketing for the ST chips is handled entirely by them. As a result I don't think there is any major issue with supporting a new partner in the PC market.

Wavey: To some KYRO users it may seem like they are in 'limbo' at the moment, they may be feeling uncertain about the future support of their products; is there anything you can say to allay those concerns?

DH: I'd like to reassure those users. Developer support and driver development have always been handled here at PowerVR Technologies and that work will be continuing uninterupted. Furthermore, we have every intention to continue to bring new products into the PC market.


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