Google buys Agnilux; startup populated by former Apple, P.A. Semi and TiVo employees

Apple Online Store“Google and Apple continue to find themselves on opposite sides of the world, as Google has apparently agreed to buy a chip-design start-up populated by former Apple employees,” Tom Krazit reports for CNET.

“Thomson Reuters’ PEHub reported Tuesday that Agnilux, a stealth chip start-up in San Jose, Calif., is Google’s latest acquisition,” Krazit reports. “A company spokesman confirmed [the deal]… Little is known about Agnilux other than the fact that it was founded by former employees of P.A. Semi, the chip start-up Apple bought in 2008.”

Krazit reports, “The New York Times attempted to track down details about the company in February and didn’t get very far, but was able to confirm that several former P.A. Semi and Apple employees were among the co-founders, as well as Scott Redman, a former software architect at TiVo.”

Full article here.

[Attribution: Gizmodo. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


  1. @Norm
    It’s a start up, what significant patents could they have acquired at this point? Is it just more “ME TOO” from Google? Don’t know, but it sure seems suspicious. This seems so far out of Google DNA it’s hard to fathom.

    For Apple, chip design was always out there for them to go after. It made sense, Apple likes vertical integration and it likes having tight control of it’s systems and their performance. Product differentiation is at the core of it’s DNA. Google, not so. Android was “open source”, the every-man’s mobile OS.

    They are acting more and more like Micro$haft every day. Quite a concern really.

  2. Having thought some more, maybe I’ve answered my own question.

    Apple is out innovating every single Hi Tech company in the world, and they are all scared as heck. Like Micro$shaft, if you cannot innovate, or are being out flanked by competitors innovation, the quickest response is to try to by groups that can innovate for you.

    Guess what, IT DOESN’T WORK GOOGLE, MICRO$HAFT AND THE REST! You have transform your organization, you have to have product people with taste and high standards in decision making positions, you have to forget about quarter to quarter performance, and you have to be willing to take risk, big risk.

    Does anyone think Zune or Android represented any great risk to their originators?

  3. Hey Mr. Jobs,
    Your plan is pure genius. Send these faithful employees (old & new) While under your “Reality Distortion Field” to start up a new chip shop, spread a rumor that would entice Google, and Boom, now you have your own moles in Google. Pure genius. That’s the ticket.

  4. Another possibility, Google might have been thinking that if we don’t buy them up, Apple might.

    Naah, Google is not that smart.

    This was definitely a MS thing way back at their growth period. If they saw anything by another company that they feared, they would buy them up and try to use it, or just bury it, never to be heard from again.

  5. Google had best be careful. Apple acquired the IP along with P.A. Semi, so Agnilux had better not be deriving products from that IP or Google will be in trouble in the future.

  6. Then again, this might be a situation similar to Palm. Apple may have failed to retain some excellent talent. But sometimes employees become “ex-employees” for a reason after a buyout.

  7. California laws are very broad regarding non-competes and work-outs. As long as there is no substantive proof that IP has been stolen, you will not get very far with a non-compete or work-out in CA. It is why there is such robust innovation going on in that part of country. If you don’t think you are being properly rewarded or not being heard, are competent enough to do a start-up and can raise the required equity, you can go for it and not be too concerned about being legally blocked. Something about free-market and all that jazz.

  8. for a company that exhorts everyone to do no evil i think it is interesting that they bought a company whose name could be interpreted as latin for “the light of the lamb”.

  9. I’m a bit worried about this.

    Apple acquired PA-Semi and its brains escaped the company leaving Apple with a empty shell. They got the IP, but they really wanted to build awesome stuff so I don’t think they got much out of it.

    Now, the runaway brains form a company and get bought by Google. If they don’t leave to form another startup, I take it they hat Apple and will work with Google to bring it down.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.