My quick, off-the-cuff opinion:
1. A 3081/3051 design is still feasible, and may be a price/performance
competitor - if the price is low enough to fit the lower performance.
I note that IBM is now selling motherboards with 486slc/2's on them
for about CDN$450.00. That's a 486/33 class machine. (25/50 MHz clock
doubled.) 16 KByte on-chip cache, no secondary cache. We should
hit 1.5-2 times that performance, with on-board scsi/serial/fdc/video
for 1.5 times the price. That's sensible to me. The R3081/MOM3000/R3041
combination is interesting.
2. An R4000SC design is too complex for my tastes, and secondary cache
is too expensive (ca. $100 including support chips). The performance
information given is interesting as upper-bound numbers.
3. An R4000PC design may be feasible. But we don't have cost information
or performance information. I really want to stay under $800 (no ram).
4. An R4200 design may be feasible, but no-one knows what it will cost.
I'll start bugging the NEC distributor here. We have a good relationship
5. A PowerPC design is a dark horse. Motorola will be aching to get design
information out to design teams, but if it requires secondary caches
and 60 MHz design, it will be tricky and expensive.
6. The SPARC chips look like they require significant design effort, and
have historically been priced > $400. Witness the Weitek "SPARC1 upgrade"
that retails at $1500. Certainly SMCC and other high-volume purchasers
get better prices, but can we?
My 1992 NEC Databook on DSP's has a one-page table of the RISC products
NEC part Mkt name Clock (MHz) Pkg pins
uPD30361 Vr3600 25, 33 PPGA 175
uPD30400 Vr4000PC 50, 66, 75 CPGA 179
uPD30401 Vr4000SC 50, 66, 75 CPGA, LGA 447
uPD30402 Vr4000MC 50, 66, 75 CPGA, LGA 447
I do have advance information on the Orion from IDT. This is R4000PC
pin compatible (PGA) or 208-pin MQuad. Hmmm. 5-stage pipeline like the
Vr4200. And what is the R4400PC? Note that some of these devices
(Orion) are 3.3V.
Tim Braun |
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