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Altera Rides Again

A few months ago, I asked Sandra Rivera if world+dog had suggested Intel revert the name of Intel’s programmable-logic business to Altera. She confirmed that this was the case but was silent about what it would be called. Intel has finally announced that it indeed is reviving the preacquisition name for the soon-to-be-standalone business Rivera will head.

Intel’s acquisitions have mostly fared poorly. Altera and Mobileye stand out as operations that Intel can be praised (faintly) for keeping intact before deciding they would be better off operating independently. Programmable logic is a deceptively difficult business, serving a broad market with sophisticated products ranging from low-density, ancient devices to high-density FPGAs fabricated in recent process technology. An independent Altera should be better equipped to succeed, and Intel leadership must focus on processors and manufacturing without distractions like programmable logic.





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