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IBM to buy Transitive

The company, whose technology allows code to run on a different OS or architecture than originally intended, is best known for powering Apple's Rosetta.

Transitive, the company best known for powering the emulation layer that helped ease Apple's transition to Intel chips, announced Tuesday that it is being bought by IBM.

In addition to helping Apple create Rosetta, Transitive eased a number of different architecture transitions in the tech world, including SGI's move from MIPS to Itanium processors as well as an effort by Intel to woo Sun Microsystems customers. IBM was also a customer, using Transitive's tech to allow x86 workloads to run on Big Blue's Power processor-based servers.

IBM didn't say how much it would pay to acquire Transitive, which is headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., and also has development efforts in Manchester, England. Transitive has about 100 employees. The deal is expected to close in early December.

"Transitive is a leader in cross-platform virtualization and a pioneer in developing technologies that allow applications written for one type of microprocessor and operating system to run on multiple platforms--with little or no modification," IBM said in a statement. "As a result, the technology will enable customers to consolidate their Linux-based applications onto the IBM systems that make the most sense for their business needs."

IBM plans to continue to offer its PowerVM LX 86 product, which is based on Transitive technology. IBM is evaluating Transitive's other products as part of its overall Systems product strategy.