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IBM Micro to get Cyrix order of boot

NatSemi will soon go its own .25 micron sweet way

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Clone x.86 chip manufacturer Cyrix has started to shift the production of its products from IBM to National Semiconductor fabrication plants. The news is no surprise. After National Semiconductor bought Cyrix last year, the company made no secret of the fact that it would switch production to its own fabs. Cyrix, before the acquisition, was what is described as a "fabless" chip manufacturer. It had a licence deal with IBM where it designed its range of x.86 processors, and Big Blue had the right to half of the wafers produced. That led to conflicts in the market, with IBM attempting to describe its processor as different from the Cyrix product. The two companies also frequently got into spats in their distribution channel with IBM undercutting prices. Reports said that the National Semiconductor fab will be able to produce over 75 per cent of its products by the end of the year. The foundry agreement with IBM will still stand, however, until NatSemi is able to produce all of the Cyrix processors. But that will beg the question as to whether IBM will continue to produce Cyrix designed processors at its own, underemployed fabs. ®

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