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Acorn poaches ST Microelectronics design team

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Acorn Group PLC is beefing up its digital TV business by poaching a seven strong chip design team from ST Microelectronics. The company wants this team so bad it is setting up a £2 million chip research centre in Bristol (UK base for ST Microelectronics), just so they don’t have to move to windy old Cambridge. Acorn has confirmed its intention to scrap new PC development -- as previously reported in The Register. "We have decided to exit PC development because it is not economically sustainable to us," CEO Stan Boland said in a statement. The company is also going to junk its name, because it carries "too much baggage", according to Boland, or so Observer in the FT reports. The new name to be announced early next year will be "more reflective of our silicon and software future and less opaque", he says. Well, the meaning of Acorn is clear enough. The Latin for Acorn is glans. Glans clitoris and glans penis -- Chambers tells us -- are respectively the extremity of the clitoris and of the penis. We can assume the etymology was forged from the shape of the Acorn. As to "too much baggage" -- how will Acorn PC users take this? Acorn's PC sales slumped from £8.5 million to £3 million in the first half of this year. However, Acorn's 15,000-strong user base, were probably on order strike. They were all waiting for Phoebe, or the Risc PC 2, which was supposed to ship in November. Acorn says it will carry on building PCs to order. And it indicates its willingness to licence Risc0S 4 to a consortium of Acorn dealers. The company retains a 50 per cent stake in Xemplar, with Apple, another opaquely named brand if ever there was one(Change that name!). ®

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