The soon-to-be-spun off Control Data Systems Inc is designing a higher performance, higher clock-speed implemention of the MIPS Computer Systems Inc R6000 ECL RISC – possibly using multiple CPU modules – which it will launch later this year for the 4860MP quad-processor that MIPS builds for Control Data, according to chief executive James Ousley. The chip is being manufactured for it by NEC Corp. Control Data won’t take the 4860MP beyond four processors because, it says, there are no subsequent linear performance gains above that: it knows, because it has tried eight- and 16-processor boards. But it is also working on a project that will lead its customers out of the R6000 dead-end, given that MIPS has ruled out further iterations of its ill-fated ECL part. Ousley says his firm is working on technology that will enable R4000s to plug into the backplane used by the R6000 in its 4680MP systems. Control Data had planned to do a Gallium Arsenide implementation of the latest R4000 RISC for MIPS. That’s been dropped too, because the GaAs semiconductor house it was using could get yields of only 2% good parts. However Control Data says it will pick up its GaAs threads again, once the technology has evolved sufficiently. Meanwhile, Toshiba Corp and NEC are thought to have invested some $200m in preparation for development and fabrication of MIPS’ next-generation R5000 and R10000 RISCs. Control Data says it is currently designing multiprocessors around each part.
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