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November 20, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Intel Corp has been promising that it would accomodate RISC technology with the 80486 high performance 32-bit follow-on to the 80386, and now it seems that the company plans to do this by way of a RISC co-processor for the 486. The floating point RISC co-processor, code-named the N10, is tipped to give the 80486 performance equivalent to that of a minisupercomputer. Raw performance, according to potential customers who have seen the co-processor, is 64MFLOPS in floating point arithmetic, 40 MIPS in integer work. Samples of the part should start appearing in January and volume is expected when the 80486 becomes available later in the year – but they won’t come cheap: $1,500 a chip is price being mentioned. In an MS-DOS or OS/2 micro, reckons Computer Systems News, the N10 would be used to run graphics and vector processing. The part, with 64-bit bus for doub le precision work, is said use 2m transistors in sub-micron CMOS to integrate heavily pipelined proces sor, cache memory, memory manage ment unit and floating point arith metic unit on a single chip. Will Intel offer it as a stand-alone part without the 80486? It seems unlikely: the company’s aim is to maintain a single product line, upwards-compatible with the 8086.

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