Last Updated Apr 22, 2010 6:29 AM EDT
First, some currently known facts:
- The company had only a placeholder web site giving an address, and even that is now down.
- Some of the names associated with the company -- Mark Hayter, Olof Johansson, Todd Broch, Dan Dobberpuhl, and Amarjit Gill -- were with PA Semi, the semiconductor design firm that Apple (AAPL) bought in 2008.
- Dobberpuhl is an expert in high-performance, low-power chip design and, before Apple and his time as CEO of PA Semi, was general manager of Broadcom's (BRCM) broadband processor division. He's got mobile device chips written all over him.
- It's not clear when Dobberpuhl left Apple, but someone registered the web site in January 2009.
- Johansson left Apple to work at Agnilux in August 2009. He's an expert in operating system development and Linux kernel work. Linux happens to be the basis for both Chrome OS and Android. According to his LinkedIn profile, his specialties are "PowerPC and ARM architecture, Linux kernel internals, Hypervisor and virtualization software." Virtualization could easily fit work on a device that was cloud-centric.
- Mark Hayter was a system architect and vice-president of hardware at PA Semi. He became a director at Apple from June 2008 through December 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile. So he left right before someone obtained the Agnilux.com domain name.
Let's put this together with some of Google's interests:
- mobile devices
- cloud computing
- Google-branded consumer electronics
- networking and server farms (for its operations)
- running infrastructure (both operations and its plan to become an ISP)
- serving up ads
Yes, some have an expertise in major networking, but what of all the focus on mobile?
To me, the most logical conclusion is that Google plans a device running a Linux kernel and either Android or Chrome OS that will boot ultra fast into a cloud, possibly running on custom-designed server and/or network equipment. (Don't forget that rumor from last year that Google was developing a router.)Those who think that a typically strong non-compete from Apple could keep the developers and engineers out of the way should remember that all this takes place in California, a state where non-competes are virtually unenforceable.
It would be an ambitious project for sure -- whatever it was exactly.
Image: RGBStock.com user melodi2, site standard license.