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Toshiba and MIPS partner for next-Generation RISC

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Toshiba Corp and MIPS Technologies Inc are teaming up to jointly develop a new 64-bit RISC chip designed to offer the highest available performance for 64-bit embedded microprocessor products.

The new TX99 processor will be based on an enhanced MIPS core, codenamed Amethyst, and the initial product is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2003, with a general microprocessor product available by the end of next year.

Tokyo, Japan-based Toshiba and Mountain View, California-based MIPS will also be joined by ArTile Microsystems Inc, a subsidiary of Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc, which is based in San Jose, California and concentrates on the development of System-on-Chip (SoC) designs.

Toshiba is already boasting two TX99-based SoC design wins for automotive telematics and office automation applications, and said it is preparing to ramp up its system and software support capabilities to deal with increased demand. The company said it will support the development of custom RISC-embedded SoCs for automotive, networking, office automation and digital consumer products.

While the profile of MIPS Technologies' RISC-based processors has declined in the server and workstation sector, with Silicon Graphics Inc - which sold its majority share in MIPS Technologies in June 2000 - its biggest supporter, the processors are at the heart of some of the leading consumer technologies around the world.

MIPS-based processors are utilized in Sony Corp's PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games consoles and Aibo robotic dog, as well as Time Warner's Set-Top Box, Microsoft's UltimateTV, and a variety of handheld PCs, printers and routers.

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