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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Software giant Oracle Corp (NASDAQ:ORCL) is keen to make more acquisitions to bolster its technology and a microchip company could be a good fit, CEO Larry Ellison said on Thursday.

With global mergers and acquisitions in the rise, particularly in a hot U.S. tech sector, investors are speculating on the next big target.

Oracle-founder Ellison responded to a question from an analyst at an event that he was more interested in acquiring companies with attractive technology than companies that provide services, like Accenture.

The world’s No. 3 software maker, whose products companies use to manage databases and automate their businesses, is starting to compete in high-end servers and other hardware following its $7.5 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems earlier this year.

"Our focus is to build our (intellectual property) portfolio. … You could see us buying chip companies," Ellison said. "Silicon is very important, software IP is very important."

Oracle reiterated it plans to invest $4 billion on research and development in fiscal 2011 despite the tepid economy.

"We will continue to invest heavily in internal research and development and we’ll continue to make small acquisitions and large acquisitions to acquire great products, great R&D," Oracle chief financial officer Jeff Epstein also said at the event.