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Re: NEC Vr4400 and ARC manufacturing kits

To: riscy@pyramid.com
Subject: Re: NEC Vr4400 and ARC manufacturing kits
From: caret@pyramid.com (Neil Russell)
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 93 16:00:23 PDT
In-reply-to: <9307192237.AA26363@gossip.pyramid.com>; from "Bill Broadley" at Jul 19, 93 6:36 pm
Reply-to: riscy@pyramid.com
Sender: owner-riscy@pyramid.com
> > How do you feel about this board? 
> > 
> > -- Youda
> > 
> Sounds great.  Please post any/all info you get.  
> Maybe we could get a discount for just one of the motherboard designs.  

The five designs would seem to be the MB, Ethernet, serial, etc.  I'm
kind of interested in the other designs also.

> Or promise to donate the linux port and then they could sell the motherboard 
> design+linux for 5k.

I doubt that NEC would be interested in linux.  Its not professional for such
a company to promote free software.

> The key would be getting enough people so that we could split the 5k enough 
> ways. 

With the mailing list the way it is (was) there would be around 100 sales of
a reasonably priced board in faily short order.  That is $50 ea for the design.

> I'd love to get a hold of a mips 4k board cheap.   Any ideas on 4400 chip
> prices?  4000?

I would imagine that the design from NEC is copyrighted such that we wouldn't
make it generally available.  So it would take a company to buy the design
and manufacture it.  Its then up to that company to make the price right
for linux people to be interested.  The bad news is that the R4000PC costs
around us$700 right now (correct me if I'm wrong).  So the finished motherboard
would easily be $1500 or more.

In about 6 - 9 months, IDT release the Orion chip, which is a pin compatible
replacement for the R4000PC which should cost less than $200 in small to
medium quantities.  This adds weight to my argument for us pause this project
for about 6 months.

Don't forget though, that you automatically need twice the RAM, because this
is a 64-bit CPU.  (That is unless there is bus sizing logic on the board.)

Neil Russell            (The wizard from OZ)
Pyramid Technology                      Email:  caret@pyramid.com
3860 N. First Street                    Voice:  (408) 428-7302
San Jose, CA 95134-1702                   FAX:  (408) 428-8845

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