Rise/ST Micro to challenge Natsemi
As predicted last year, X86 cross licences galore...
While we were away at the perennially appalling SnoBIT 2000, a little press release popped into our mailbox from Rise, which early last year was the wannabe x.86 player. We thought we'd heard this some little time before, so did a search on our excellent search engine to find that, sure enough, we wrote the story on the 10th of May last year, here. But that wasn't where it started. Because a further search showed that we'd written a story from SnoBIT 1999, which we found here. Now what's the significance of this latest announcement? Rise has indeed signed a deal with ST Microelectronics, and the aim is to challenge NatSemi in the Information Appliance (IA) market. Both will cross licence technology to work on the old system-on-a-chip front. Rise, on the other hand, and as we correctly predicted in our previous articles, will have access to a stack of x.86 IP (intellectual property) rights ST (formerly SGS Thomsen) had when it was a Cyrix partner. Rise found itself a bit strapped for cash in the middle of last year, and the deal between ST and itself has obviously taken longer to sort out than CEO David Lin anticipated. And so we shall see ST and Rise working together, with x.86 compatibility and an x.86 core, to create "solutions" -- the magic word now that microprocessors will become ten-a-penny -- in a similar way to National Semiconductor with its Geode, x86 compliant, core. This is not good news for Intel, which is preparing its Timna system on a chip solution, and fears Via at the low end of the CPU market too. ®
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