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Re: Mips Chips from NEC

To: riscy@pyramid.com
Subject: Re: Mips Chips from NEC
From: tim@ubitrex.mb.ca (Tim Braun)
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 93 12:38:50 CDT
Reply-to: riscy@pyramid.com
Sender: owner-riscy@pyramid.com
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
   with him.

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
which includes:

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                          |
Ubitrex Corporation                | Voice: 204-942-2992 ext 228
1900-155 Carlton St                | FAX:   204-942-3001
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 3H8 | Email: tim@ubitrex.mb.ca

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