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July 16, 1991

TOSHIBA SETS ENHANCED MIPS-COMPATIBLE CHIP-SET; NEC, SIEMENS “TO BE FIRST WITH R4000”

By CBR Staff Writer

Toshiba Corp is looking to take on board a second RISC processor, following the adoption of Sun Microsystems Inc’s Sparc technology for use in its laptops. This time around the company is once again said to be eyeing MIPS Computer Systems Inc’s R3000 and R4000 from the rival RISC camp, which now has the weight of the ACE Consortium Initiative backing it. Although MIPS already has Integrated Device Technology Inc, LSI Logic Corp, Performance Semiconductor Corp, NEC Corp and Siemens AG as suppliers – and is precluded by its contractual obligations to these companies from signing up others – US reports say that these limitations would not stop a determined Toshiba from negotiating to supply MIPS parts too. Indeed Toshiba, already an Architecture Licensee for the MIPS part, is said to be currently readying an enhanced, MIPS-compatible chip set, and the suggestion is that at the very least, Toshiba will likely become a foundry for MIPS’ existing suppliers. The Microprocessor Report’s Michel Slater expects NEC and Siemens to beat the three US suppliers to ships of the as yet unannounced 64-bit R4000 version of the RISC.

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