NatSemi buys Cyrix, aims for sub-$500 PCs

National Semiconductor (NatSemi) last night said it is to buy minnow CPU maker Cyrix and use its technology to build a new generation of ultra-cheap PCs.

Although Cyrix has long fancied itself a rival to Intel in the orthodox PC market, NatSemi sees the $550 million deal as a means of jemmying its way into the burgeoning market for much cheaper systems. In a press conference yesterday, the firm said it plans to "enable the sub-$500 PC" and Cyrix has a lead on the market for integrated processors with its MediaGX, a CPU that also handles graphics and sound processing .

"We want PCs everywhere," said Brian Halla, NatSemi CEO.