Advanced Micro Devices Inc is gearing up for another crack at the CPU market with three new additions to its Am29000 Series of RISC processors, and the European launch of Fusion29K – a group of Am29000 supporters committed to developing embedded systems applications for the thing (CI No 1,138). Sampling now, with volume shortly, is […]
Advanced Micro Devices Inc is gearing up for another crack at the CPU market with three new additions to its Am29000 Series of RISC processors, and the European launch of Fusion29K – a group of Am29000 supporters committed to developing embedded systems applications for the thing (CI No 1,138). Sampling now, with volume shortly, is a 30MHz, 21 MIPS version of the chip in 1.2 micron CMOS technology, to be followed by an 0.8 micron CMOS, 55MHz version that the Sunnyvale, California-based company rates at 40 MIPS. The addition of cache memory and floating point features to the Am29000 is already under way in a third chip, to go into production next year, and rated at 48 MIPS according to Steve Dines, AMD’s European strategic marketing manager. Source and binary code software compatibility is to be incorporated in each new addition. AMD declined to put a figure on how many Am29000s it has sold, except to say the number is in the tens of thousands – the 25MHz version is now selling for $100 in batches of 100 or more. Back in December 1987 Advanced Micro Devices was gung ho about the prospects for its Am29000 RISC processor, hoping to take on the likes of the Sparc and 88000 chips, but it has not succeeded as the company hoped, and the new additions to mark AMD’s attempt to claw back some of the ground lost to other RISC designs. A Unix implementation for the Am29000 was promised at that time – it is only now becoming available with a UniSoft implementation of Sunnyvale, California based Ready Systems’ VRTX32 multitasking real-time kernel. AMD’s pragmatic intention – even if coming rather late in the day seems to be one of cutting losses and concentrating on the potentially more lucrative embedded systems marketplace. To this end, the company’s Fusion29K initiative – which smacks of Motorola’s style with 88open consortium – was launched in London lasy week. Partners with AMD are Microtech Research Ltd, Basingstoke, Hampshire; UniSoft Ltd, London; STEP Engineering’s European distributor, Societe YREL in Paris; Logic Automation, Bracknell, Berkshire; Ready Systems Europe, Maidenhead, Berkshire and Yarc Systems’ European representative Dr Bernhard Pil-ler in Morgis, Switzerland. Olivetti, which joined Fusion29K in the US, is expected to say something on its European intentions in the near future. Fusion29K’s intention is to supply Am29000 customers with development tools they need to bring their products to market. Advanced Micro now claims over 150 Fusion29K customers in Europe. In other product news, Adage Inc is using the Am29000 in its Adage 200 RISC graphics terminal.