A personality clash between the CEOs of AMD and Cyrix has prevented a merger of the two companies as both rolled out their latest processors at Cebit in Hanover last week.
Jochem Polster, European PC divisional manager at AMD Europe, admitted last week that although both companies had complementary products, such a merger was unlikely.
'The deal would not be possible because of the personalities involved,' Polster said. Jerry Sanders, CEO of AMD and Jerry Rodgers, CEO of Cyrix, had conflicts which prevented the takeover, he added.
Polster was speaking at the introduction of AMD's 5k86 family of products, delayed by technology difficulties from last year.
But although Polster agreed the products were tardy coming on stream, he claimed some wins for the chips, with Vobis, Compaq and another four companies ready to implement the processors in PCs.
He claimed volumes of the chips would come on stream in summer and that despite the fact that Intel would introduce stepped up Pentiums during the year, there was still a considerable market for the 5k86s.
A merger between AMD and Cyrix would have provided both companies with a much-needed boost. While Cyrix has better technology, it relies on IBM and SGS Thomson for fab facilities. AMD, on the other hand, has underused fab plants and has had to concentrate on selling flash memory.
Polster's confirmation that both companies had been in discussions means that Cyrix continues to look for extra fab facilities and prompted speculation that a deal could yet be hammered out if the problems could be overcome.
Last October, AMD bought Nexgen for nearly $1 billion and while Nexgen has a 686-compatible processor, it does not have the same level of technology as Cyrix.
At a stand only 20 yards away, Cyrix was showing a version of its 6x86 processor running at 166MHz, with higher clock speeds promised this year.
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