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IDT exits x86, puts Centaur up for sale

It's had its WinChips...

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Another one bites the dust - IDT is to follow NatSemi out of the x86 clone business announcing yesterday that it is putting WinChip developer Centaur up for sale, and is considering shutting it down if it doesn't find a buyer. Centaur's WinChip was designed as a low-cost chip that would power bargain-basement PCs, but although it seemed like a good idea at the time, events have overtaken it. PCs have been moving into the bargain basement without much help from Centaur. Intel price cuts undermined the company, and the fact that the fastest WinChip is only 266MHz hasn't helped IDT's case. Significantly, it says it will sell Centuar's intellectual property and design operations, and that it will absorb the cost of writing off WinChip inventory. So you can't give them away. "The Centaur design subsidiary has created quality products and significant intellectual property for IDT, yet the Company's ability to drive increased revenue and profits by participating in this highly competitive marketplace has not met our expectations," said CEO Len Perham. "Our decision to exit this marketplace underscores our focus on the communications market, where we can deliver the greatest value to customers and the most attractive returns to our shareholders." IDT, which announced much improved Q1 results yesterday anyway, says it's had "expressions of interest from multiple parties," and hopes to close the deal by the end of September. So who's biting? Register long-shot: Acer? ®

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