x86 processors: Intel takes over parts of VIA’s Centaur team

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x86 processors: Intel takes over parts of VIA's Centaur team

Image: Centaur

Intel is spending $ 125 million on parts of VIA’s Centaur team that develop x86 processors. After the Taiwanese media said that Intel would take over VIA’s x86 division completely, it remains a little unclear whether not only certain parts will be bought.

The first tweets got the ball rolling yesterday afternoon, which spoke of a takeover of Centaur by Intel, but which almost went unnoticed worldwide due to the launch of Intel Alder Lake.

VIA’s mandatory notification to the stock exchange in Taiwan, which was distributed at the same time as the announcement by press conference, sounds a bit more diplomatic and in no way speaks of a complete sell-out of the division, which research and development has primarily positioned itself in the x86 area. Accordingly, only a few employees will change.

Intel will recruit some of Centaur’s employees to join Intel with certain covenants from the Company for Intel’s recruitment. As consideration, Intel will pay Centaur US $ 125 million

Further research then revealed that the 125 million US dollars should go directly to Centaur and not the parent company VIA. Centaur is based in Austin, Texas and employs around 100 people there. The company has been working in the field for over 20 years. It is unlikely that only a few employees will change company for the high amount, classified details are likely to be missing here, what is still available in the package, be it IP, a certain product area or the like. Centaur will continue to work for VIA as usual even after this transaction.

The Centaur team developed the Isaiah architecture a good 15 years ago, which was presented in 2008. This x86 processor architecture was an interesting solution at the time, but progress in this area was slow after that. In 2019 there was a new sign of life, a modern eight-core processor in 16 nm production for server systems, which, in addition to classic cores and AVX-512 support, should also offer a co-processor for artificial intelligence. In 2020, samples of the socketable processor were shown and further details announced, but since then the topic has been rather quiet again.

ComputerBase has asked Intel for comments and details and will update the message if anything arises.

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