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Google Acquires Chip Maker Startup Agnilux 150

Posted by timothy
from the keeping-up-with-the-jobses dept.
bobwrit points out a story at PC Magazine, from which he extracts "Google has purchased Agnilux, a secretive chip house made up of engineers who architected the heart of the iPad, then left the company. Reuters' PEHub reported the story Tuesday night. A Google spokesman also confirmed the acquisition to PCMag.com. 'We're pleased to welcome the Agnilux team to Google, but we don't have any additional information to share right now,' a Google spokesman said Tuesday night via email."
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Google Acquires Chip Maker Startup Agnilux

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  • Android (Score:5, Informative)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:25PM (#31929352) Homepage Journal

    Google wants to make phones, netbooks and tablets. They've been investing money in coding for ARM, but it makes sense to look into producing their own chips for these devices.

  • Re:"architected"? (Score:5, Informative)

    by StrategicIrony (1183007) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:40PM (#31929686)

    I just looked and the Oxford dictionary recognizes it, and points to archived letters from Keats in 1813 using the word as a verb.

    It was considered an "overly formal" usage for awhile, but I think the use in computer-speak has brought it back toward mainstream.

  • Re:Android (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:41PM (#31929698)

    The entire reason that Google is so successful is that these ads ARE effective, and measurably so.

  • Re:Android (Score:3, Informative)

    by feranick (858651) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:18PM (#31930336)
    Very possible. Even Microsoft (of all software houses), may be thinking along the same lines in a recent job posting...

    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/04/20/2134213/Job-Ad-Hints-At-Microsoft-Move-To-ARM-Servers [slashdot.org]
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:35PM (#31930662) Journal

    If ARM scaled up well, wouldn't we have seen ARM Linux servers by now?

    I suspect the answer is that none of the off-the-shelf ARM SoCs come with the kind of network and disk controllers that servers need. This means that you can't just use off-the-shelf ARM parts in a server, you need to do a fair bit of custom work. A quad-core Cortex A9 with a couple of SATA and GigE controllers on die would be a pretty nice server chip for a lot of workloads.

  • Re:Servers (Score:2, Informative)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:43PM (#31930832)

    I know we're talking millions per year powering their server farms, but keep things in perspective. NOTHING will eliminate that power bill. All something can do is REDUCE it. So you have to look at the difference in power consumption as the return. Total power consumption is moot. Now consider: how much did they pay for this company? We don't know, but semi-conductor firms tend to run in the HUNDREDS of million of dollars. You also have to take away from that the cost associated with RUNNING this company. Salaries, power bills associated with the extra facilities, equipment, etc.

    Lets assume that they paid $100 million, which is a lowball estimate. Lets assume that merely switching architectures is going to save them $5 million per year in power costs, which is being VERY generous there. Now lets assume that this semi-firm can run with only $1 million in annual funding - lowball again on that. Even being INCREDIBLY generous with all assumptions there they're looking at breaking even in 25 years.

    It makes no sense. Even at Google's scale, it's almost never a good idea to own a whole company to produce products that only you yourself use, unless they're INCREDIBLY simple devices (which computer chips are not).

  • Re:Android (Score:3, Informative)

    by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:21PM (#31931564)

    What's even more amusing is that some of the seed capital that founded ARM Holdings came from.... Apple corporation.

  • Re:Architected? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pulzar (81031) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @12:25AM (#31935632)

    In ASIC world, to "design" means to write RTL code (and all that follows it) that matches the desired architecture. To "architect", means to write the high-level spec of what the design should look like.

    It's not bullshit, it's the proper terminology for the topic at hand. You could argue that the terminology is lame or whatever, but it is what it is.

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