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Sun Buys Montalvo Assets

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Apple picked up PA Semi, the low-power PowerPC start-up, last week to do who knows what with and Sun picked up the assets of Montalvo Systems, the laconic, heading-for-the-crapper start-up that was supposed to be doing an Intel-competitive low-power/mobile four-core x86 chip for reasons it hasn’t shared yet. 

It apparently plans to integrate the Montalvo technology into its own processors to what effect remains to be seen. Popular wisdom thinks Sun’s interest has nothing to do with x86 compatibility. 

According to Cnet, where Montalvo chief system architect and patent holder Peter Glaskowsky blogs, two of Montalvo’s cores are designed to run high-powered applications, the other two take less energy, sort of like the Cell chip. 

The three-year-old Montalvo reportedly couldn’t get its chip built without another $100 million on top of the $73 million at least that it already got and cut two-thirds of its cash-burning 200- or 300-man staff a few weeks ago. 

The Register claims Sun only paid an immaterial $5 million for the Montalvo property. 

Its funding came from NEA-IndoUS Ventures and Bay Partners. 

Montalvo’s CEO is Matt Perry, now a two-time loser having been the CEO of Transmeta, another Intel wannabe.

 

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