IBM grabs fourth x86 clone deal

IBM grabs fourth x86 clone deal
David Manners IBM is now to make four x86 microprocessor clones following the signing of a foundry deal with Integrated Device Technology (IDT). IDT follows AMD and National/Cyrix in signing foundry deals with IBM for Intel micro clones. IBM has been making its own version of an x86 clone – based on the Cyrix design – and now will add production of IDT’s WinChip, AMD’s K6 and Cyrix’s Cx86. IBM’s chip differs from the Cyrix chip in the packaging and in IBM’s test procedures. The arrangements which AMD and IDT have negotiated with IBM differ from the agreement which IBM has with National/Cyrix. “With AMD, for two years, and IDT, for three years, we have fab agreements – basic foundry agreements without marketing rights,” an IBM spokesman told EW. “There’s no ‘One for you one for me’ kind of deal. We just book a number of wafer starts per week per customer and we deliver them to the customers who test and package them for their own needs. With Cyrix it’s a one-for-one manufacturing and marketing agreement.” IDT will get IBM’s quarter micron 2.5V process for its WinChip micro. Although IDT has its own 8in. fab, it is currently producing in only tens of thousands of unit a month quantities. Len Perham, IDT’s president, said that the IBM deal will “give our customers confidence that IDT will have adequate supply to meet their requirements”.


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