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As if by MAJC, a new chip arrived

Sun shines light on new processor initiative

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Sun has unveiled details of its new Java-based MAJC microprocessor which will be able to deal with several different channels at the same time - ideal for multimedia applications where sound, video and graphics are used simultaneously. MAJC first stuck its head over the parapets back in August. It's not the first time that a chip has been developed with just multimedia in mind - Intel's MMX was a notable failure and was quickly superseded by the Pentium II - but Sun believes expanding Internet use and an increase in its capabilities will make the new 500MHz chip a business and consumer success. According to Sun, the MAJC 5200 (Microprocessor Architecture for Java Computing) chip can decode two different real-time video streams while also downloading an audio track. One expected use of this added capability is in video conferencing, where several participants would be visible at the same time. The chip is expected to volume-ship in the second half of next year and the first MAJC PCs are likely to be produced by Sun itself. This double-channel processing derives from a new chip design, Sun said, which uses two VLIW (very long instruction word) microprocessors onto a single piece of silicon. ®

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