Intel Corp said on Friday it would buy Havok Inc, a provider of software and services to the games and movie industries, as the world's top chipmaker seeks to beef up its visual computing and graphics efforts.

The privately held Irish company's technology has been used in some of the most widely known video game titles, including BioShock, Stranglehold, Halo 2, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

The deal comes ahead of Intel's biggest technical conference, the Intel Developer Forum, in San Francisco next week. Intel is expected to expand on plans for next-generation chip making technology, commonly known as 45 nanometer, and give more details on its forthcoming chip design change.

Havok's collection of software development tools is used by game and digital-animation creators to build realistic video games for myriad types of hardware and digitally animated movies, Intel said in a statement.

The deal could also heighten competition with Intel's biggest rival in microprocessors, Advanced Micro Devices Inc, which acquired video chip company ATI Technologies nearly a year ago.

Intel has so far partnered closely with ATI rival Nvidia Corp for video-processing chips used in personal computers.

Havok, a Dublin-based company founded in 1998, will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Santa Clara, California-based Intel and would continue to operate as an independent business.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Prior to the announcement of the acquisition, Intel shares slipped 42 cents to close at $24.93, AMD fell 4 cents to $12.69, and Nvidia lost 98 cents to $32.25.