Over the last decade VIA has become nearly non-existent in the processor market and now news hits the wire that VIA will temporary stop shipments of its x86 processors. DigiTimes claims VIA has started shifting its x86 CPU technologies and related personnel to a newly formed IC design joint venture with a China government-owned investment vehicle.
VIA reportedly has a stake of 20 percent in the joint venture. If the rumor is true, it means VIA may no longer release processors under its name and will use the name of the joint venture in the fuutre. Under this deal, the Chinese government will be able to get hold of x86 technologies to develop related products.
Because VIA's x86 CPU business is licensed by Intel, moving related resources to a new joint venture is expected to attract Intel's attention. However, the chip giant may not be able to do much because Intel reached an agreement with the US's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in 2010 to not interfere with competition in the CPU and chipset markets, and extend its licensing of PCI Express to VIA by at least another six years. Intel is also unlikely to wish to offend the China investment firm, which has support from the China government, the market watchers analyzed.