OAKLAND, Calif., March 1 (Reuters) - Artificial intelligence
chip designer Wave Computing Inc said on Monday it has emerged
from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following an auction of
the company and will rebrand the firm as MIPS.
The company traces its origins back to MIPS Computer Systems
Inc, cofounded more than 35 years ago by Stanford University
professor John Hennessy, who is now chairman of Alphabet Inc
. MIPS was the commercial home of an earlier academic
effort to create an architecture for computer processors that
remain in wide use today by firms such as Intel Corp's
Mobileye self-driving car unit.
Wave Computing filed for bankruptcy in April. It was
revealed by bankruptcy filings and Reuters reporting that in
late 2018 and 2019, the company licensed its core computing
architecture for use in China, Hong Kong and Macau to a
Shanghai-based firm, CIP United Co Ltd, in a complex series of
transactions. The transactions occurred just as a chip war was
escalating between the United States and China, which could have
made it more difficult for Chinese firms to use MIPS's
According to two sources, CIP has kept the scope of that
license even as the company emerges from bankruptcy. CIP was not
immediately available for comment. Wave Computing was not
immediately able for comment on the CIP license.
Wave Computing said Tallwood Venture Capital won the auction
with a bid valued at $61 million and has sole ownership of the
company. It also said two previous Chinese investors, Alibaba
Investment Limited and venture capital fund Canyon Bridge Fund
I, are no longer shareholders. The former is the investment arm
of China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Wave Computing also said it will further develop its chip
architecture based on the open source RISC-V architecture, which
has attracted attention from Chinese companies who see it as a
path forward for Chinas chip independence as it is not
controlled by any company or government.
(Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee in Oakland, Calif.
Additional reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco
Editing by Matthew Lewis)