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Cyrix rolls its own

Tired of trying to convince systems vendors to use its chips instead of Intel's, Cyrix has decided to build its own PCs in a partnership with systems integrator EDS.

Tired of trying to convince systems vendors to use its chips instead of Intel's, Cyrix has decided to build its own PCs in a partnership with systems integrator EDS.

Up until now, Cyrix has built x86 processor clones and has been in constant battle against Intel's dominance of the chip arena. Now EDS will build PCs at its Plano, Texas, plant but ship the systems with the Cyrix brand name, the companies said. The systems will of course use the Cyrix 6x86 processor.

The companies have not yet announced shipment dates or pricing.

Analysts don't know whether to applaud Cyrix for its initiative or offer condolences for the company's failure to gain support from mainstream systems vendors. AST Research, Acer, Epson, and Canon buy chips from Cyrix, but the company was expected to announce a partnership with a larger vendor and this has not yet happened.

"I have mixed emotions. I am glad there is a vehicle to get Cyrix product out to key customers, but on the other hand, it's disappointing that they couldn't find a major [company] like Compaq to carry the torch for them," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at the Dataquest market research firm.

The deal with EDS creates the possibility that Cyrix will compete with its own chip customers, but Cyrix claims this is not a problem.

Brookwood thinks that Cyrix's intent is not to compete with other systems vendors in any real sense, but to draw attention to the performance of Cyrix-powered PCs.

"This is mainly a vehicle to get the Cyrix name out there," Brookwood added.