Friday, April 25, 2008

Will The "Sun" Shine With x86 ??

Latest news has it that Sun Microsystems has bought a struggling x86 chip manufacturing called Montalvo Systems. Montalvo is known to have been in talks with Sun for quite some time and there were long running rumours that Montavlo would be bought. When I heard the rumours, for the first-time I had thought it would be crazy for Sun to get into x86, but now it seems they have actually bought the company for a bargain buy of $5.5 million.

Monalvo Systems is a fabless startup funded through venture capital. It raised about $73 million from the venture capitals, but needed more $100 million lately. It still hasn't made any money and hence was denied the request for additional capital. In comes Sun Microsystems and gets a bargain buy!! Now if you are like me, then you would be wondering, why would Sun Microsystems buy an x86 chip design startup. Montalvo doesn't have the clients nor the SPARC designs. Sun Microsystems has over the years talked us into the greatness of the SPARC architecture and x86 manufacturing is really not its game. But so wasn't Sun's software business...

Popular belief has it that Sun Microsystem is going to use Montalvo's technology in its SPARC chips. Montalvo seems to have an excellent IP and chip design team which Sun was interested in. Sun Microsystems also has an amazing chip design team and probably its the human resources which has resulted in this deal.

If this buy is another completely new strategy from Jonathan, then it would be one to really watch out for. Lately, Sun has been selling x86 servers with AMD Opteron and you never know what Sun is upto after the ticker change... From JAVA to x86 can't be a more dramatic change than the last time.

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