> From: email@example.com (Tim Braun)
> Subject: Re: Mips Chips from NEC
> 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 think this could be a good solution if people are willing to go for
an FPGA. It seems that the MOM is not what we want and the IDT chip
is not forthcoming.
> 4. An R4200 design may be feasible, but no-one knows what it will cost.
R4200 is about $70, ARC chipset is unknown to me (all in volume of course)
> 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.
The first power-pc chip is supposed to use a bus similar to Moto's 88110
which allow multiple transations in progress. Pretty complicated compared to
a simple 32-bit muxed a/d bus...
> 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?
I believe the Fujitsu SparcLite series are in competing price ranges
to the IDT 3051/3081 series. Some of the versions include interrupt
controllers, DMA, split I/D caches of varying sizes, general I/O
ports, timers, etc. They come in large surface mount packages. I
believe only one has a FPU. None include direct DRAM control. I have
much more data at the office.
> 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.
Orion and VRX(4200) are both 3.3V chips. Orion runs faster, has FPU, but
the chips are very similar in idea. They both follow the non-embedded
philosophy of CPU design - "just the CPU ma'am"
How about this - I saw a preliminary app note on how to convert an
Intel 80960CA/CF to be compatible with a 486/33 local bus - just a PAL
or two. How about a board with a 960 coupled to a PC motherboard.
Pretty Crufty, Nicht Wahr? (of course the same idea could be extended
to some other processors...)
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