The gutting of Cyrix…

...and the smokers of Plano

Updated The former home of Cyrix at 2703 Northern Central Expressway in Richardson, Texas, has now been sold for a cool $30 million.

Last week, we reported that the site was up for sale.

SWB Communications paid the price in the last month, and the East Cyrix building is currently being gutted by The Beck Company to make way for the new.

Cyrix was acquired by Taiwanese firm Via which still retains the brand name with its Cyrix III microprocessor. That chip, however, uses a core developed by IDT's Centaur engineers, which Via also bought.

Meanwhile, sources close to the situation report that three of the handful of skeleton staff left at Cyrix in non-smoking capital Plano, quit last Friday, and have joined IO processor startup Seagull Semiconductor, based in Austin, Texas.

The Cyrix Plano site now houses around ten people, while eight former NatSemi employees, who used to work in Arlington, have now gone back to Arlington.

One former employee of Cyrix said: "It's truly over. Cyrix is a mere fly-speck in history. Born 1988, RIP 2000. I wonder where the RIP Intel tombstone is."

We don't know, and although we'd like to get our mitts on it, we do have a pic of the said tombstone which we snapped when we visited Richardson some years back.

Sources close to what's left of the Cyrix operation in the US are very unhappy with Via. One, who declined to be named for obvious reasons, said many of the few employees who still remained had the definite impression that Via is trying to forget its Cyrix staff exist.

She claimed that employees were promised numerous incentives including stock options and pay rises last July which have not materialised. She added: "These are the reasons that employees are leaving, and if Via does not act quickly, you will soon be writing about the complete shut down of VIA-Cyrix."

Via could not be contacted for comment on the situation at press time.

Meanwhile, Plano, which is just up the road from Richardson, has a reputation of its own to live down, another mole tells us.

"In 1995 the health fascists on the Plano City Council passed a local ordinance banning smoking in all public places, including bars and restaurants. This created an immediate loss of business for TGI. Fridays and other 'bar'n'grill' places along the Central Expressway, where everybody in the telecomms industry seemed to go to unwind on a Friday evening.

"Instead, we all went that extra mile down into Richardson to spend our cash in places like Humperdinks and Wizards (hence my fond remembrance of passing the Cyrix plant on the way). Given that there is a high concentration of telecomms and IT development in the area (Nortel, Alcatel, Ericsson, DEC, HP, etc...), you can imagine the impact this had on the local economy. All those white collar bucks travelling south to Richardson. It's downright un-American.

"Things got so bad that at one point some of these self-righteous Nazis were discussing amending the law to prohibit smoking in your car, your garden (yard) or in your own home if other people could see you. Apparently the mere sight of a cigarette in the process of being smoked was enough to enflame (ho ho) the passions of these people.

"Officially, I believe the ordinance was challenged as "unconstitutional" by a collection of private individuals. But I was there in TGI. Fridays when it was judicially suspended and, by a bizarre coincidence, all the ashtrays were mysteriously to hand as the bar staff and waitrons started handing out matches and free cigarettes.

"I may have been several Margaritas over the limit, but I could swear that even non-smokers were lighting up in this celebration of economic justice." ®

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