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January 25, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Looking to take on the dominance of MIPS in the consumer equipment market, Advanced RISC Machines Ltd is set to release its first microprocessor core to support the Windows CE operating system. The new offering is based on the existing ARM7TDNI chip with additional cache and memory management features required for running Windows CE. ARM says it is targeting the new core for use in applications where it is traditionally strong, such as mobile phones, set-top boxes and network interfaces. Gordon Stubberfield, head of marketing and Communications for Europe suggested other Windows CE compatible cores would follow, commenting: What we’re trying to offer is a range of different cores based around Windows CE for a range of different applications. Stubberfield said the new offering would have a lower price/performance than the existing StrongARM chip running CE (CI No 3,257), which was designed by ARM in collaboration with Digital Equipment Corp. Asked how the new core would perform alongside rival MIPS offerings Stubberfield said: at this stage we have no benchmarks but I would expect it to outperform MIPS. The company said it had not yet agreed on a firm date for the new offering, adding that pricing would depend on which peripherals were integrated on the device. Jim Fleury, director of sales for Silicon Graphics, which make the rival MIPS RISC chip said he could not comment on the performance of the new ARM core. He cited figures from Semico Research Corp that SGI shipped 45 million microprocessors in 1997 as opposed to below 10 million for ARM. Fleury added: I think that those figures equate to the viability of the platform.

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