Intel Pays VIA $125M For Centaur Technology’s x86 Design Team – ExtremeTech

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Intel will reportedly pay VIA $ 125 million for some unspecified assets related to Centaur technology. It has been hinted that the payment may be for the right to hire Centaur Technology engineers to join Intel. Details are murky at best at the moment.

Intel and AMD dominate the headlines today and have for many years, but there was a third x86 player, once. While VIA and its subsidiary, Centaur, never had more than a single-digit share of the overall CPU market, there was a time when the company’s small, energy-efficient cores dominated the market share of the CPU market. Ultra-efficient and ultra-quiet PC. .

The company’s closest recent contact with consumer relevance came in the late years, when its Via Nano platform briefly appeared as if it were an Atom competitor. Ultimately, the Nano didn’t gain the market share it needed to be successful in the long run, and Via generally faded away from the consumer market. The company has continued to make x86 chips and iterate on its designs, but changed to serve a primarily industrial and commercial customer base.

THROUGH EPIA-P900

Tiny boards and small form factors like mini-ITX and pico-ITX defined Via’s x86 product lines.

The funny thing about this ad is its lack of specificity. As Anandtech notes, there are no particular details about that Intel has bought. The implication of the announcement is that Intel paid for the right to hire Centaur’s engineering team. It seems like a strange thing to buy, but Intel has no official comment on the subject and neither does Via.

A report from THG suggests that Intel has paid for the Austin engineering team, but not for its intellectual property or trademarks.

“Intel will recruit some of Centaur’s employees to join Intel under certain Company Intel recruitment arrangements,” a Via Technologies statement with TWSE read, according to Tom’s Hardware. “In return, Intel will pay Centaur $ 125 million. […] The closing of the transaction depends on the fulfillment of certain conditions of the agreement. Payment will be made in full at closing. “

Intel has been aggressively recruiting across the industry and building its teams as it addresses its own rejuvenation and plans to bring new facilities online. Recent launches like Alder Lake are already in the works before Pat Gelsinger joined earlier this year, but Intel’s aggressive capacity expansion plans are largely his job.

VIA will reportedly retain the right to build and manufacture future x86 CPUs, but the Centaur website is down at the time of writing. If Via is still in the x86 business, he obviously no longer feels like he needs a consumer-facing portal. It is unclear whether this deal will have any impact on the company’s Zhaoxin joint development venture.

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