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Spicing up competition in the market for high performance multimedia chips, NEC Electronics has taken the wraps off an embedded RISC chip designed to handle multimedia applications like digital video disk DVD and 3D graphics. The new technology which is unlikely to appear until the middle of next year will use a relatively standard V800 RISC CPU core, but will offer two major additions: a set of MMX-like media-processing instructions, and a Rambus memory interface. Targeted at compression, 3D and set-top box applications the chip looks set to present a serious performance challenge to the likes of Intel Corp and other micro devices. According to Subodh Torani, vice president and general manager of Rambus Inc’s Logic Products Division. The soon-to-be V830R is the first commercial micro design to incorporate the Rambus memory interface directly on the chip. Rambus technology is a very high-speed interface that lets DRAMs and controllers or processors transfer data at 600Mb per second over the Rambus Channel, which is a narrow byte-wide data bus. Rambus DRAMs provide eight times the bandwidth per pin of alternative high-speed DRAM components, with lower latency – the time to access the first byte from the memory array.

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