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Death bells ring for Rio as they're cut up and sold to SigmaTel

Ryan Block, @ryan
Rio Carbon small

You may remember SigmaTel, they're the company who makes, among other things, the chipsets for Apple's iPod shuffle. Yeah, those guys. Well, guess those flash-memory and integrated-circuits lined pockets just scooped up our favorite underdog digital audio player company: Rio Audio (aka Digital Networks). Yup, they bought Rio's approved and pending early MP3 player patents (remember, Rio was among the very first out with such a device), as well as Rio's software and engineering resources from D&M Holdings. That doesn't exactly leave very much left for a company that's supposedly in the business of making and selling digital audio players (Rio technically still has access to the patents that were sold, but their entire R&D team is now gone), so it seems really unlikely that this shell of company is going to keep walking down that path. Do we dare ring the Deathwatch bell? Guess you can kiss that Rio Chroma goodbye, if nothing else.

[Thanks, Ross]

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