Feeds

Cyrix, IDT/Centaur, Rise ready low-end PC processors

Coming soon to a £500 PC near you... Maybe...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Pretenders to Intel's low-end crown Cyrix, IDT/Centaur and Rise all announced next generation Basic PC-oriented x86-compatible processors at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California today. Cyrix's product is M3, the first chip based on its new Jalapeno x86 core. According to project manager Greg Grohoski, the design focus was on increasing the bandwidth of the host PC's memory bus, rather than attempt to allow ever more program instructions to be processed simultaneously, the approach taken by Intel and by AMD for K7. Jalapeno is designed for high-speed, 600MHz and up processing. M3 adds to that a built-in memory manager, 256K of on-chip L2 cache and an "advanced" 3D graphics engine. It also supports MMX and AMD's 3DNow instruction set extensions. However, the memory manager, while improving data throughput, requires RAMBUS' RDRAM memory technology. RDRAM may be faster than SDRAM, but it's also more expensive -- in addition to the cost of the chips, RAMBUS levies a 2-5 per cent royalty -- which could limit the number of M3 supporters. That said, M3 is not due to become available until Q4 1999 -- and then only as samples -- giving RAMBUS time to get its technology established. Rise Technology's mP6 family is set to ship sooner, sampling this quarter and going into full production not long after. The company claims the chip offers 15 per cent better core CPU performance than the Pentium II for a given clock speed. And it can execute three MMX instructions per cycle, faster than any other x86 processor. At the same time, Ken Munson, principal engineer on the mP6, said it had a very low power consumption -- unused CPU circuitry is turned off automatically -- making it ideal for notebooks. Munson would not, however, be drawn on the speeds the chip would be available in, nor would be comment on pricing. The initial chip will offer just 16K of L1 cache, as will the next release, the mP6 II, which is designed to compete with the Mendocino version of Intel's Celeron, currently performance hamstrung by the Great Stan's keenness that it not compete with PII. Like M3, mP6 will feature 256K on-chip L2 cache. That's not a feature shared by IDT/Centaur's WinChip 4, however. Instead, according to Centaur president Glen Henry, the chip will simply boast a much larger L1 cache. "There's a 1-2 per cent difference in performance between a mix of L1 and L2 on-chip cache and just L1, but a 50mm increase in die size," he said. Since Centaur's design philosophy is all about keeping the die size down -- and therefore reducing the cost of each chip -- it opted for just L1. Henry admitted previous WinChips were "lagging in megahertz", something version 4 was to address. The new release will offer speeds of 400-500MHz and contain 128K of L1 cache. It also uses a new core that is designed to reduce the likelihood of data not being found in the cache thus forcing the CPU to wait for it to arrive via the system bus. Version 1 of WinChip 4 will go into production in the second half of next year, said Henry, using 0.25-micron technology. A faster (500-700MHz) release based on the 0.18-micron process, will begin production in the first half of 2000. All three vendors' chips will use Socket 7 interfaces. "We won't do Slot 1," said Henry. "It's not where our market is." "There's still plenty of demand out there for Socket 7," added Grohosk. ® Click for more stories

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?