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Intel Corporation has announced it had licensed certain intellectual property of Elbrus and UniPro – two Russian companies involved into the development of E2K processor known as “Itanium Killer. Additionally, the company had hired engineers from both firms.

Elbrus MCST (Moscow Center of Sparc Technology) is pretty well-known for its co-work with Sun over UltraSPARC microprocessors as well as some other projects that evolved from this cooperation, such as Transmeta.

Since the year 1992 Elbrus has been developing a VLIW/EPIC microprocessor for high-end applications with monstrous performance requirements. Executing up to 24 instructions per single clock cycle and delivering monstrous 10.2GFLOP/s performance at only 1.20GHz, the chip called E2K that was projected to dissipate around 35W, was meant to be a real competitor for very high-end microprocessors from Intel, Sun and IBM. However, due to the lack of investors, the actual silicon of the E2K has never seen the light of the day. The firm owned around 70 patents in the USA.

According to Intel’s statement, the company hired software developers, integrated circuit developers and computer aided design professionals. The firm plans to increase staff headcount in Russia by 1000 before the end of 2004 and operate development centers in Moscow, Sarov, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg.

Elbrus and UniPro hire more than 450 and 180 world-class specialists.

Right now it is not fully clear whether Intel plans to implement the “Itanium Killer” or use the technologies developed by Elbrus and UniPro in its next-generation products.

Like the Intel Itanium, chips that were in development at Elbrus required specially written code and specially developed translators to perform x86 operations.

Terms and conditions of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement is expected to be finalized within 90 days from now.

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