AMD hands off Alchemy to Raza Microelectronics

AMD and Cupertino, California-based Raza Microelectronics have entered a "broad strategic partnership" (PDF) involving AMD's Alchemy processors and other endeavors. Under the partnership, Raza Microelectronics (RMI) will acquire AMD's Alchemy processor operations and leave AMD with a stake in the company. In other words, AMD is getting rid of its Alchemy business unit and processors for an undisclosed sum. Alchemy chips are based on the MIPS—or Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages—architecture, a RISC design typically used in embedded applications. The chips were developed by late-1990s startup Alchemy Semiconductor, which was purchased by AMD in 2002. Currently, AMD offers a number of Alchemy CPU flavors aimed at applications as diverse as digital media players, PDAs, network security devices, printers, and wireless gateways.

The new partnership between AMD and RMI extends beyond the Alchemy deal, as well. RMI's press release says, "The Alchemy product line acquisition forms the basis for a broad strategic relationship between AMD and RMI to cooperate in a number of different areas, including the recently announced 'Torrenza' platform." Torrenza is the name for an AMD server platform that will see third-party co-processors integrated into Opteron systems via PCI Express, HyperTransport, Opteron CPU sockets, and even in AMD's Opteron CPU packages themselves. Nothing specific has been announced, however, so it isn't yet known how RMI will be involved with Torrenza.

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