Transmeta throws in the towel, goes up for sale

— 10:00 AM on September 25, 2008

All things must end. After morphing from a microprocessor designer into an intellectual-property firm, Transmeta has thrown in the towel and gone up for sale, EE Times reports. The company has hired financial advisors Piper Jaffray & Co. to arrange a possible sale, and it has entered a couple of patent-related agreements with Intel.

EE Times describes the first agreement as, "A non-exclusive technology licensing agreement that provides for Transmeta to deliver a copy of certain proprietary Transmeta computing technologies to Intel." The second agreement essentially amends Intel's and Transmeta's December 31, 2007, although EE Times doesn't say what the amendment entails. The original deal reportedly gave Intel "a perpetual non-exclusive license to all Transmeta patents and patent applications, including any patent rights later acquired by Transmeta, now existing or as may be filed on or before Dec. 31, 2017."

In return for these latest patent licenses, Intel will have to cough up the tidy sum of $91.5 million in cash payments before September 30. Intel was originally supposed to pay Transmeta $20 million a year from 2009 until 2013 as part of the December 31 deal. Since Transmeta may not be around to cash any checks by 2013, perhaps the $91.5-million figure includes some of those yearly payments. (Thanks to TR reader Carl for the tip.)

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