The Ixians were a society that specialized in the production of complex machinery that often flouted the proscriptions of the Butlerian Jihad which led to a taboo on the constructions of machines that bore the exact human mind's image. Its name was derived from the fact that their home planet that was the ninth planet of the Alkalurops system.
During the Rule of Alia, some Ixian had shown their acceptance for the Muad'dib's religion, calling it Shien-san-Shao. This term show a relation of the Ixians origin with some oriental culture, probably Chinese. 
Even after the liberation of Ix, many within the Imperium felt that the Ixians often strained or broke the universal ban on artificially intelligent machinery. However, astute political dealings, and the hunger for Ixian products, almost always kept the planet one step ahead of an outright invasion by the forces of the Great Houses.
Evolution of the Ixians
By the time of Paul Atreides' emergence the Ixians were, other than the Bene Tleilax, probably the most successful of the fringe worlds that maintained a sophisticated technological base, having had their technological base rebuilt at the cost of House Corrino reparations. They had effectively seen off competition by House Richese in the field of research and development, and their form of government seems to have been transformed into a meritocracy or perhaps technocracy. Politically they operated as a confederacy, at least in title.
During the Famine Times the Ixians became a major power in the known universe. The Ixians were the first to invent and manufacture no-ships, which contain machines that duplicate the abilities of Guild Navigator, and were able to hide the people within from prescience. These vessels also had the advantage of being far cheaper than traditional space ships. Indeed, it was the development of this cheaper form of space travel which fueled the Scattering.
By the time of the arrival of the Honored Matres, the power of the Ixians was at its apex with their alliance with the Fish Speakers; but Bene Gesserit analysts saw them as a failing power, because Ixian society had become a bureaucracy and no great inventions had come out of the workshops of Ix for centuries.
When the Honored Matres conquered the Old Empire, the Ixians were reduced to being a barely tolerated technological combine.
Ixian Technology in the Dune Games
Behind the Scenes
- Children of Dune: Muad'Dib's religion had another name now; it was Shien-san-Shao, an Ixian label which designated the intensity and insanity of those who thought they could bring the universe to paradise at the point of a crysknife. But that too would change as IX had changed. For they were merely the ninth planet of their sun, and had even forgotten the language which had given them their name.