Wasn't it DECtalk?
Wasn't Hawking originally a DECtalk user? Is that the "really old chip" that the article rambles about, 'cos if so, that's rubbish.
DECtalk is/was a set of text to speech algorithms which can be implemented in various ways. Hawking reportedly used a DTC01 hardware-centric implementation (first released in the mid 1980s). Creative Labs licenced the technology for use on some SoundBlaster cards. Later, there was also at least one set of software to run on a PC that would make the expected DECtalk noises by generating them mostly in software to feed through any "standard" sound card (or sound chip); a limited demo version was at one time freely downloadable and may still be available from mirror sites (but beware of imitations and malware).
DEC eventually sold off the division that owned the DECtalk technology and I lost track of where it ended up (Wikipedia claims to know).
Have a listen to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_QRhpzhFuc and see if you recognise it.
Afaik, there's no technical need for Intel to develop a specific chip to replace Hawking's kit; any 'standard' sound chip (which Intel don't make?) and an implementation of the DECtalk software (which Intel don't own?) will do the job. Except that (afaik) Intel don't own any of the relevant technology, and therefore all they can do is develop a soundalike (which may not even be a workalike).
Another triumph for Intel. Not.