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Now Intel-IDT enter cross-licensing frenzy

Where does this leave Via, Cyrix, Centaur et al whoever he is?

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A low-key announcement in what would have emanated from a smoke-filled room if it happened thirty years back has resulted in Intel signing a cross licensing deal with IDT, which still owns the x.86 Centaur intellectual property (IP). The Register has learned that IDT will make a statement about this deal tomorrow. Last week, Taiwanese chipset firm Via said it would buy IDT's flagging Centaur WinChip business, and also announced it would have access to the x.86 IP. And towards the end of last week, NatSemi (or was it Via), terminated half the Cyrix engineers, spelling doom for the up and coming M3 technology. Intel and IDT are keeping details of the cross licensing deal they signed yesterday close to their corporate chests. Intel is going to pay $20.5 million to IDT for licences granted under the agreement. The statement said: "..the two companies have entered into a cross-license agreement that enables each company to utilize the intellectual property (IP) covered by the other's patents. Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will license each other's technologies with certain exceptions." What those exceptions are, only Intel, IDT and their lawyers know, because the terms of the agreement are secret squirrel. But Pat "Kicking" Gelsinger, VP and GM of Intel's desktop products group, said, rather obviously: "Intellectual property is a key ingredient to success in our industry. This new agreement provides the design engineers of both Intel and IDT with greater flexibility as they design new products, enabling both companies to better serve customers' requirements." And the licensing deal "releases both Intel and IDT from any past infringement associated with the licensed intellectual property". It could be nothing to do with x.86 technology, but with SRAM technology (which IDT still develops), but the world and its dog have no way of knowing. There is some interesting game going on here. Intel and Via are currently in the middle of a bitter legal dispute, with Chipzilla claiming that the Taiwanese firm has breached its patents... ® See also Via claims National to blame for Cyrix layoffs Cyrix M3 Athlon Killer strangled at birth by Via Cyrix layoffs confirmed at Richardson, Arlington Why does Via want Centaur technology? Via to buy IDT's Centaur NatSemi-Via ink $167 million Cyrix deal Via-AMD finalise chipset deal NatSemi rolls out Information Appliance chip (which talks about the unfortunate Cyrix staff)

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