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nVidia to purchase rival 3Dfx

Consolidation in graphics market continues

Graphics chip giant nVidia has announced plans to purchase most of the assets of one-time rival 3Dfx Interactive in perhaps the largest consolidation of the fast-moving graphics industry.

nVidia will purchase all of the graphics-related assets, patents, pending patents, trademarks, chip inventory, and brand names, including the well-known Voodoo brand, from 3Dfx, according to nVidia spokesperson Derek Perez.

nVidia will pay a total of £77.19 million, including £48.24 million in cash and one million shares of stock, the companies announced on Friday. It will not, however, acquire 3Dfx's graphics board business, as nVidia is not a graphics board producer but focused on chips, and best known for its GeForce2 family.

Meanwhile, 3Dfx plans to eventually dissolve its graphics card business, according to Steve Lapinsky, a senior vice president. It will continue to support existing products through the warranty periods, Lapinsky confirmed. The company will not leave existing 3Dfx customers to fend for themselves.

It's still unclear what nVidia intends to do with its purchase. The company will examine ways to incorporate the 3Dfx technology, patents and brands, according to Perez. "We could just wrap the technology into our own," he says. "And the 3Dfx brand could play a role; we could call Voodoo our own."


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