AMD Spins Off Alchemy Processor Line

Raza Microelectronics is acquiring AMD's MIPS RISC architecture-based Alchemy processor line and business unit.

Raza Microelectronics Inc. has agreed to acquire Advanced Micro Devices MIPS RISC architecture-based Alchemy processor line and business unit. AMD, meanwhile, will invest in RMI, and RMI will back AMDs recently announced "Torrenza" AMD64 ecosystem.

Both AMD and RMI say they are committed to a smooth transition for current Alchemy customers. RMI plans to maintain current Alchemy SOCs (system-on-chip processors), according to Chris Keil, senior director of corporate marketing at RMI.

Current Alchemy SOCs target low-power embedded, handheld and mobile applications, and boast excellent performance-per-watt, Keil said. For example, AMD in early 2005 released the Alchemy Au1200, a highly integrated SOC targeting the rapidly expanding PMP (portable media player) market.

Keil said RMI is committed to investing in the Alchemy product line and road map. It plans to open an office in Austin, Texas, where AMD is based, and has extended offers of employment to "quite a few people" from AMDs Alchemy team, Keil said. AMD employees invited to join RMIs staff include marketing, sales, operations, engineering and software engineering personnel, Keil said.

In addition, AMD has invited RMI to collaborate in its Korean technology development center.

Keil declined to provide shipment volume or revenue data for the Alchemy line, noting that AMD "never broke those figures out" and that as a privately held company, RMI is not obliged to report them. Keil did note that Linux and Windows CE are the top OSes used on Alchemy chips.

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