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March 7, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:00pm


By CBR Staff Writer

International Meta Systems Inc, late of Torrance, now in El Segundo, California is making grinding progress on its Meta 6000 emulator for the P55C Pentium with MMX instruction set. The company says it has now delivered an integral component of the Meta 6000 to its Development Partner – written in capitals like that so as to look more portentous. The partner was not identified but the company was very close to a major agreement with Sharp Corp a couple of years ago. Meta says the fundamental element of the design demonstrates compatibility with the Pentium chip. The company has designed a universal emulation architecture that translates complex instructions into a set of RISC instructions on the fly (CI No 2,389). At the last count, the Meta 6000 was planned to deliver the performance of a 300MHz Pentium (CI No 2,987). It is planned to be pin-for-pin-compatible with the Pentium. The company is also working on a set of Java instructions to add to the Pentium-compatible chip, but it appears that it will finish the Meta 6000 first. The chip with Java instructions as well is reportedly code-named Bifrost, and will run Java byte codes and iAPX-86 code concurrently. A part code-named Valhalla would add speech and video compression too. The Meta 6000 is on target to be taped out in April. And the company is also looking at taking on Sun Microsystems Inc’s Java chip family with a pure Java part of its own, Meta Expresso, which it suggests is 50% faster than the picoJava part – but the company will need to find a sugar daddy to fund development of its Java ambitions to production – it says it has developed the capability to process Java code at performance levels some 10 times faster than current designs.

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