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Cyrix layoffs confirmed at Richardson, Arlington

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Reports reached The Register early today that National/Cyrix fired over 160 employees from Richardson and Arlington late Friday. We will confirm whether or not such layoffs occurred tomorrow, although Mark Hachman at TechWeb reported Friday confirmation of the cuts from NatSemi-Via. There are also some comments about the layoffs here, which suggest the reason for the cheap price Via paid is because it didn't want the technology, just the intellectual property. Towards the end of last week, Via said it would buy IDT's Centaur business, as reported here. But, at the same time, we pointed out the cores of Cyrix processors and IDT WinChip processors are completely different. All last week, rumours were circulating that the NatSemi-Via deal was off -- but those were scotched when both inked a letter of intent mid-week. According to the unconfirmed sources, those remaining at Cyrix will lose their jobs towards at the end of August, just as the Gobi and MII were due to start going into production. If the reports are true, that means the M3 project will enter the shadowy underworld of failed processor projects. And it also appears Via thinks the Centaur core is better than anything Cyrix can offer. This is, possibly, a big mistake. One source extremely close to the company's plans said: "It is well known within Cyrix that Centaur's products cannot even make it through a 24 hour application/OS/compatibility stress test in Cyrix's labs. In contrast, AMD's products make it through a couple of days, the Cyrix MII goes four to five days, and Intel manages five to six days." ® See also Why does Via want Centaur technology? Via to buy IDT's Centaur NatSemi-Via ink $167 million deal

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