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Via claims National to blame for Cyrix layoffs

Where does the buck stop, anyway?

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A source close to Via said today that the company could not be blamed for layoffs at Cyrix in Richardson and Arlington last week. (See yesterday's story: Cyrix M3 "Athlon Killer" strangled at birth by Via) According to the source, the redundancies were imposed by NatSemi after weeks of negotiations between the companies. But the fact remains that Cyrix technology, in the shape of the M3 processor, is now as dead as a dead duck could be. Last week, Via signed a deal with IDT to acquire its Centaur WinChip x.86 technology for an undisclosed sum. Just a few days earlier, Via and NatSemi inked an agreement where the former would buy the latter's Cyrix division for only $167 million. But it now appears that Via is less interested in making x.86 processors than in securing its position as a chipset manufacturer. In effect, it now has two sets of x.86 patents which it can use to fight Intel over an alleged patent infringement. The Via source said: "It's difficult to place any real blame here. This was an asset buyout and National is making the layoffs. Without the buyout, Cyrix may very well not exist today." Earlier today, Via announced an AMD-only chipset for the Athlon K7 processor, which has shipped to customers including OEMs and the distribution channel. ®

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