Rise of the Centaur


Centaur Technology

In 2014, Cognitive Films took an extraordinary journey with Centaur Technology, a unique Austin-based chip designer renowned for its x86 architecture CPUs, a domain dominated by giants like Intel and AMD. During an initial meeting intended for discussing a simple recruiting video, we met Glenn Henry, the visionary founder of Centaur. Henry, a former IBM fellow and Dell executive, captivated us with his passion for computing and his extensive collection of vintage computer equipment.

Henry’s vision for Centaur was clear: attract top-tier processor engineers by showcasing the company’s countercultural approach—minimal management and no red tape. This philosophy, aimed at fostering creativity and efficiency, deserved more than a standard corporate video. Instead, it inspired us to propose a feature-length documentary that would serve as both a love letter to computing and a battle cry for engineers craving a creative haven.

The production, filmed during the summer of 2014, coincided with the arrival of a long-awaited chip from TSMC, providing a perfect narrative thread to explore Centaur’s role in the “Chip Wars” of the 1990s. Our team, alongside Centaur’s HR head Christy Connely, created a retrospective journey, interviewing key figures and capturing the spirited dynamics within Centaur.

Premiering at an exclusive event at Alamo Drafthouse, the documentary was later released on Amazon Prime and distributed on DVD. This film not only chronicled the fascinating history of Centaur Technology but also became an invaluable recruiting tool, continuing to attract engineering talent long after its release. The acquisition of Centaur by Intel in 2021 marked the end of an era, yet through our documentary, Rise of the Centaur, the legacy and revolutionary spirit of Centaur Technology remain accessible for future generations.