Intel paying RealNetworks $120 million for patents and software

RealNetworks

Chipmaking giant Intel and digital media outfit Real Networks have announced a surprise deal that sees Intel paying RealNetworks $120 million for about 190 RealNetworks patents, 170 patent applications, and RealNetworks’ forthcoming next-generation video codec software. Under the deal, RealNetworks will continue to have the right to use its old patents in current and future products; however, the patents will belong to Intel, and the company is free to use them in its own products and/or license them out to others.

“Selling these patents to Intel unlocks some of the substantial and unrealized value of RealNetworks assets,” said RealNetworks president and CEO Thomas Nielsen, in a statement. “It represents an extraordinary opportunity for us to generate additional capital to boost investments in new businesses and markets while still protecting our existing business.”

The deal will also apparently see Intel acquiring the RealNetworks team developing the video codec software, and the companies have inked a separate memorandum of understanding that they will collaborate on development and future support of the next-generation video software.

Neither RealNetworks nor Intel revealed Intel’s interest in the video software or RealNetworks’ patents, save to indicate the material will be used to give richer media experiences on Intel-powered devices—including ultrabooks and smartphones.

RealNetworks hasn’t been in the news much lately, since the departure of founder and former CEO Rob Glaser almost two years ago, spinning off Rhapsody into a separate company, and starting to roll out its Unifi cloud-based service in Germany last June. The company’s stock has lost almost a fifth of its value over the last three months as the company revealed a third-quarter loss, although its stock price rose sharply on news of the Intel deal. RealNetworks continues to operate the Helix streaming media platform, GameHouse, SuperPass, and offer products like the “Rinse” media library manager.

Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.
Mobile

Intel 5G modem chips won’t be available until 2020, could delay 5G iPhone

Chip manufacturer Intel announced its 5G modem chips would not be available until 2020. This could be a problem for Apple, which had planned to launch the next-generation iPhone with 5G capabilities in 2020.
Mobile

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Social Media

Twitter keeps your direct messages, even years after you delete them

Twitter is keeping copies of direct messages sent through the social network even years after users delete them, according to security researcher Karan Saini who discovered an archive containing old DMs from deleted and suspended accounts.
Computing

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

The rumors were true. Nvidia’s 1660 Ti GPU, a $280 powerhouse, has arrived

Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1660 Ti, its next-generation, Turing-based GPU. It promises to deliver all the performance and efficiency for all modern games, but without stepping into the high price range of the RTX series. 
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Everything you need to know about routers, modems, combos, and mesh networks

Modem vs. router: what's the difference? We explain their functions so you can better diagnose any issues prior to contacting technical support. We also talk about a few variants you'll see offered by ISPs and retailers.
Computing

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 
Computing

Limited-time sale knocks $500 off the price of the Razer Blade Pro 17

Looking for an ultra-powerful laptop for yourself or someone else? You're in for some luck. Razer is running a sale on some of its best gaming laptops, cutting down pricing on the Razer Blade 15 and the Razer Blade Pro 17. 
Emerging Tech

Engineer turns his old Apple lle into an wheeled robot, and even gives it a sword

How do you give new life to a 30-year-old computer? Software engineer Mike Kohn found a way by transforming his old Apple IIe into a wheeled robot. Check it out in all its 1980s glory.
Gaming

Want to play as Iron Man or Waluigi in GTA V? Our favorite mods make it possible

Grand Theft Auto V is best on the PC for many reasons, and modifications may be the most important. You can cause riots, spawn unique cars, and play as a cop with just a few extra files.
Computing

Does the GTX 1660 Ti's leaner design make it a better GPU than the RTX 2060?

Nvidia's GTX 1660 Ti is a new Turing GPU without ray tracing or DLSS, but how does it compare to its RTX brethren? We pit the 1660 Ti versus the RTX 2060 to find out in this comparison.