Cyrix: Gone But Not Forgotten

Avro Arrow

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TechSpot Elite
I remember when these were out. I wanted to get one but they went belly-up before I could. Back then, tech didn't advance nearly as quickly as it does today and upgrades weren't done nearly as frequently. It was a joint venture between IBM and Texas Instruments. I wonder who ended up with the x86 licence because whoever has it could theoretically become a fourth player in the x86 market.
 
Still have various 486- & Pentium-(also the 60&66) systems stored/running at home. Total joy to use with old(er) software and CRTs.
Great article - the 5x86 was a beast.
 
I wonder who ended up with the x86 licence because whoever has it could theoretically become a fourth player in the x86 market.
China !
"The Zhaoxin joint venture processors, released from 2014, are based on the VIA Nano series." This is a joint venture between VIA Technologies and the Shanghai Municipal Government.[2] The company creates x86-compatible CPUs. They paid Via to use x86 and are coming out with NEW x86 chips with DDR5 and PCIe4, if they can get TSMC to make them!
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,800   +2,154
TechSpot Elite
China !
"The Zhaoxin joint venture processors, released from 2014, are based on the VIA Nano series." This is a joint venture between VIA Technologies and the Shanghai Municipal Government.[2] The company creates x86-compatible CPUs. They paid Via to use x86 and are coming out with NEW x86 chips with DDR5 and PCIe4, if they can get TSMC to make them!
China? I think that you've been watching too much Fox News.

You're right that VIA did buy most of what was left of Cyrix (I knew that but my memory isn't as good as it was 20 years ago...:laughing: ) but VIA isn't Chinese. It was originally American but moved its HQ to Taipei. Being an order of magnitude smaller than Intel and AMD made competitive R&D impossible and so VIA was relegated to embedded niche systems like ATMs and cash registers. VIA did partner with the Chinese government on their own x86 CPUs but the licence isn't China's, it's VIA's.

This is American-style corporate-industrial capitalism at its best. Without being big enough to compete in the PC market, VIA's x86 licence largely went unused. The Chinese government probably offered a crap-tonne of money (money that originally came from people like you and me who have purchased products made in China) for VIA to develop a CPU for their domestic use. Since VIA did legally own an x86 licence and only money matters in American-style capitalism, of course VIA jumped at the chance.

So no, China did NOT get the licence. What China did was contract a semiconductor corporation to design an x86 CPU for their specific use. China did NOT get VIA's licence.

Man, sometimes I wonder just how well people are programmed. The US corporate media has people yelling "China" today, "Iran" two years ago, "Russia" five years ago and ten years ago they were yelling "Terrorists".

Who's going to be your next boogeyman, India, Brazil, Canada? :laughing: