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November 15, 1988

TEXAS SETS NEW GENERATION 34020 GRAPHICS, 32030 GRAPHICS CPUs

By CBR Staff Writer

Texas Instruments Inc may not have made much of an impact in recent years in the merchant microprocessor market – it had the first 16-bit part in the TMS9900, but that chip lived to see the day it was described as the 16-bit microprocessor that behaves like an 8-bit. However the company has had considerable success with its TMS32000 and 34000 families of signal processors, and the company is promising a higher performance TMS34020 version of the 34010 Graphics System Processor, and a TMS34082 floating point co-processor to go with it. The company claims the 34020 will offer between three and 30 times the performance of the 34010, and that the 34082 will be 100 times fater than personal computer floating point chips. Derived from the 30nS SN74ACT8847, the co-processor delivers up to 40MFLOPS, and interfaces directly to the Harvard Architecture 34020’s address and data buses. And the 100nS single cycle 34020 is optimised for use with the TMS44C251 1M-bit video RAM. While likely to be used primarily as a graphics engine, for those wanting to build high-performance but lower cost graphics terminals, the 34020 can double as general purpose processor. The part has 4G-bit address range and a 512-byte on-chip cache. No price or delivery information was provided. Texas Instruments is also sampling the third generation of its TMS32000 family of digital signal processors. The TMS320C30 is rated at 33MFLOPS, and is fabricated in one micron CMOS, integrating 700,000 transistors. Texas claims that it combined the advantages of a reduced instruction set and general purpose microprocessor features. The part comes with a C compiler supporting a single logical memory space and unlimited software stack. The part cycles in 60nS and is highly parallel with a total of 13 internal buses. There is a four deep pipeline for concurrent single-instruction execution, read, decode and fetch; all RAM and ROM supports two accesses in a single cycle; add and multiply can be executed in a single cycle; and there is a direct memory access controller that works concurrently with the CPU. Texas says the part has already been designed into some workstations but offered no prices for the 32030.

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