View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
October 8, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

RISC vendors will be on the defensive at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California next week. The conference – which has been held annually since 1987 – is the traditional launching pad for new processor technology, and the RISC vendors have usually dominated it. But last year Intel chose the event for the first in-depth look at its 64-bit Merced technology. This year, Intel architectures, both 32-bit and 64-bit, are in the ascendant. The RISC faction will still be in evidence. Sun Microsystems Inc plans to talk about Ultrasparc III, Motorola plans to offer details of its graphics extensions to the Power PC, and Compaq Computer Corp will offer the first disclosure of the DEC Alpha EV7, the fourth generation of the Alpha chip. Hewlett-Packard Co, Intel’s partner on Merced, will nevertheless describe its proprietary PA 8500 64-bit RISC part, already emerging as an add- on board for workstations, but expected to appear in high-end 32- way V-Class servers by the end of the year. However, much of the discussions will center around whether conventional RISC architectures will be able to keep pace with Intel’s EPIC techniques. Meanwhile, companies intent on stealing some of Intel’s existing 32-bit business will be out in force. The concept of Intel ‘clones’ is now changing rapidly as the clonemakers get more adventurous. Cyrix Corp’s MIII (pronounced em-three), using its Jalapeno chip core, maintains basic compatibility with the x86 instruction set while offering a high level of peripheral integration, a move that paves the way towards lower-cost PCs. Advanced Micro Devices Inc – which now describes its parts as Microsoft Windows compatible rather than Intel-compatible – will be talking up its K7 chip, including the 3DNow graphics instructions it first described earlier this year. AMD faces a challenge getting its additional instructions widely accepted, as Intel itself prepares to launch its Katmai New Instruction list of graphics instructions, set to appear first in the Katmai chip in the first quarter of 1999. Also in the Windows-compatible space, Rise Technology Inc will preview the mP6 chip aimed at low power/low cost Windows-based notebooks (CI No 3,441). Intel also has its eye on the embedded systems market, and says it plans to announce new i960 and StrongARM products at the event. As for peripheral parts, Canadian chip maker ATI Technologies Inc will talk about its newest Rage graphics accelerator, and 3DLabs Inc will preview the third generation of its Glint Gamma part. And Analog Devices Inc will be revealing the architecture for its next generation digital signal processor on Wednesday.


Websites in our network
NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy