Feeds

'Timna' - Intel's first system-on-a-chip

Before 'Tolapai', before 'Banias'...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Forgotten Tech With Intel's 'Tolapai' system-on-a-chip (SoC) part making headlines this week, it's worth remembering this embedded part isn't Intel's first highly-integrated processor. Ironically, the core Tolapai is said to be based on, the Pentium M, may have been instrumental in the demise of 'Timna', the chip giant's first major SoC project.

Timna emerged in March 1999 when 3D graphics chip specialist S3 - later acquired by VIA but then independent - hinted it was working on a SoC part with Intel. The chip would contain S3's Savage 4 GPU, the company suggested.

intel timna soc appears on the roadmap

Three months later, the rumour mill was discussing Timna's Pentium II-class processing core, 128KB of L2 cache, integrated South Bridge and Rambus RDRAM memory controller. Not long after, it was said to be clocked at 533-700MHz and be fabbed at 180nm. The chip would be offered in a 370-pin package. A reference motherboard designed for the part was apparently codenamed 'Arago'.

Around this time, a number of chip makers, most notably National Semiconductor were looking to a future of ultra low-cost PCs given away by service providers to encourage World+Dog to start using the internet. Earlier, Intel acquired Chips & Technologies, ostensibly to boost its own SoC expertise, and it's possible Timna was a result of that purchase. The chip itself was developed by Intel's design team in Haifa, Israel.

Certainly, Intel itself indicated the part would be aimed at budget desktops, though the chip maker may well have had its eye on the so-called 'internet appliance' device no small number of analysts were touting at the time, all eager to forecast how the masses would be connecting to the net in the very near future. On such hot air was the dotcom bubble inflated...

That didn't stop Samsung saying early in 2000 that it was planning a sub-$200 PC which, while not explicitly stated as being based on Timna, was nonetheless said by the company to have a feature set like that of the Intel SoC. Samsung was eyeing a Christmas 2001 launch, well over a year after the mid-2000 launch date being associated with Timna at the time. By the time Samsung's system was due, the internet bubble had burst.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
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?