Just some interesting facts I picked up recently and ended up mentioning in this thread: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic...6#entry1984596
Most info from this site:
So basically, Flare Technologies was founded in 1986 by 3 ex-Sinclair engineers who'd formerly been involved in the Loki project for a hugely upgraded ZX Spectrum, these were Martin Brennan, Ben Cheese, and John Mathieson.
They continued their design as the Flare 1 which was taken up by Konix and under consulting work with Flare, was reworked into the Multisystem (one big change was a switch from Z80 to 8088/86 CPU -apparently to make it "16-bit").
After the general design work was complete and the original chipset of blitter, DSP and some support hardware had been integrated to a Single ASIC, the design was pretty much finished (other than deciding the type of media and amount of RAM used), and of course there was a huge push on peripherals on the system, probably a big part of its downfall. The release date kept getting pushed back until Konix finally folded. (to not go into greater detail)
In the mean time Flare ha been doing some other consulting work and around 1989 were contracted by Atari to work on the Panther design Atari had. (note, they were there to complete the design, not the original designers as some imply, but rather created by another ex-Sinclair engineer which explains the drastic difference in design philosophy to Flare's work)
They completed the panther chip but managed to convince Atari to go with another design all together (more in line with the Flare 1 concept), so Flare 2 was formed and the Jaguar was born. (the Jaguar's object processor evolved from the panther, but the rest of the design ties much more into the flare 1 design, but much more advanced) The jaguar design appears to have been taped out in mid 1990. (the design was finalized on paper -for the main component, TOM, at least)
Around this time Ben Cheese also left Flare and ended up getting picked up by Argonaut Software to design the RISC core to be used in the Super FX chip for Star Fox.
That in turn lead to the split off into Argonaut Technology Limited and later ARC International.
With Flare, Atari Corp, Konix, and Argonaut Software (Games) all defunct, Nintendo and ARC International are the only companies involved here that still exist. (and of course, Sinclair being bought out resulted in the formation of Flare in the first place -Amstrad still exists, of course)
Pretty interesting stuff, the bit on the Super FX in particular, I wasn't aware of.
Edit: hmm just realized that it would have been rather good for Amstrad if they'd kept the Loki project going (which evolved into Flare 1), or the project team at least, it could have been ideal for the later game system they planned. (rather than the rather limited GX4000)