Sunplus Benefits From Trident Licensing Deal

Trident Microsystems is a supplier of digital TV chips which recently reached a licensing agreement with multimedia SoC seller Sunplus Technology Co. The royalty-based agreement will license some of the Trident motion video processing and motion compensation technology to Sunplus.

Trident Microsystems is a leader in software and semiconductor products designed for the digital TV market. Sunplus Technology Co, on the other hand, is a major provider of multimedia IC solutions to a range of home entertainment devices.

The non-exclusive patent licensing deal that Trident has entered with Sunplus Technology and its affiliated Orise Technology gives Sunplus access to the Trident patent portfolio of motion estimation and compensation (MEMC) patents. The financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed, other than that it will be based on a royalty.

The licensing agreement is the second patent license agreement for trident’s MEMC patents. The first was signed earlier this year with Mstar Semiconductor of Taiwan. The Trident MEMC technology enables better quality TV pictures on Hi-Def and 3-D TV displays, as well as on tablets, PC monitors and other consumer devices.

The MEMC technology is the result of decades of research and has become the industry standard. There are a stable of patents owned by Trident which are incorporated in MEMC products. Trident is pursuing a turnaround strategy following negative revenue and profit trends this year.

The licensing agreements are part of this strategy to restore profitability at the company.

The agreement underlines Trident’s leadership role in terms of quality digital imaging for a range of consumer devices. Trident’s strategy is to arrange a limited number of similar licensing agreements for the MEMC technology to semiconductor vendors and TV OEMs.

Other Trident patents related to audio TV interfaces, demodulators, 3D, and video technology. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California and is a major player in smarthome technology innovations.