Advanced Micro Devices Corp, Sunnyvale, and Communications Machinery Corp down in Santa Barbara have joined forces to develop and market intelligent Fibre Distributed Data Interface, FDDI, VMEbus processors. Under the agreement, Communications Machinery will integrate its Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol and Open Systems Interconnection software and its expertise in high-performance Ethernet processors with Advanced Micro’s Supernet chip set, which the company claims is the first commercially available integrated FDDI processor to create a complete implementation of the 100Mbps fibre optic local area network interface. And Advanced Micro plans to use the FDDI VMEbus product as an evaluation and demonstration tool for the Supernet set: the product will be available from Communications Machinery this quarter. The partners hope that the agreement will hasten market acceptance of the FDDI standard by speeding the development of high-throughput, commercially available FDDI solution. The FDDI network protocol is designed to support both high-speed computer communications and backbone network applications. Running at 10 times the speed of Ethernet networks and 25 times faster than the currently available IBM Token Ring networks – and over six times as fast as the new version announced by IBM last November – it supports networks of up to 40 miles in circumference, 35 times as far as you can string an Ethernet. Privately-held Communications Machinery was founded in 1981 to develop networking hardware and software systems based on the TCP/IP, Open Systems and Ethernet standards, agreed to be acquired by Rockwell International Inc for $40m in shares back last June, but we have no record that the acquisition was ever actually completed.
The Sun Microsystems Sparc, the MIPS Computer Inc R2000 and the Motorola 88000 are picking up most of the glamour design wins in the reduced instruction set computing world, with the Intergraph Clipper tagging on gamely behind – but in less glamourous fields, Advanced Micro Devices Corp’s Am29000 is still making wavelets, and the company claims that the part delivers 17 MIPS sustained performance, with burst speeds up to 25 MIPS – even with low cost video RAMs, and that the part is therefore still the most powerful 32-bit RISC microprocessor available. Late last year the company picked up Copernique SA in France as a committed customer: Copernique, based in Paris, where it makes disk accelerators and multimedia database and communication servers, says that it will build its new generation of disk controllers around the Am29000. Advanced Micro is now saying that the Am29000 was designed to enable manufacturers of embedded controllers to take advantage of RISC technology – the ever faster computers coming along will require that peripherals such as disk drives can keep up with their super-fast processors.