Java processor designer Patriot Scientific Corp continues to shrink the size of its PSC1000 chip, and now says it is developing a 0.35 micron version of the part. Patriot says this smaller size of transistor should enable it to crank the chip’s clock speed up to at least 150MHz. Development work started about two weeks […]
Java processor designer Patriot Scientific Corp continues to shrink the size of its PSC1000 chip, and now says it is developing a 0.35 micron version of the part. Patriot says this smaller size of transistor should enable it to crank the chip’s clock speed up to at least 150MHz. Development work started about two weeks ago and it should be in silicon within 30 to 45 days from now, before going to manufacturing in Taiwan, the company said. It also said that during January it shipped over two dozen development kits of the 0.5 micron version to potential licensees for evaluation. It also says it has a backlog of requests for kits, for which it has ordered about 25 additional boards from its manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor. San Diego- based Patriot, a small company of just over 30 employees, was the first company to release a working version of a processor with the Java virtual machine and Java operating system ported to it. Patriot licensed and ported Sun Microsystems Inc’s JavaOS for this purpose last year. As we revealed last October, Patriot is working to add cache to increase the chip’s performance. It maintains that it will be able to double performance every six months due to its architecture. The company’s VP engineering, Joey Maitra also said work could be done to speed the memory interface unit. Pipelining is another possibility, though not one being explored by the company as yet. Interestingly, Maitra said the Java running on the 0.5 micron processor is not native, it is interpreted and requires a translator, like a just-in-time compiler, to turn Java byte codes to native code. However, he said the company will be demo’ing Java running natively by the month-end. He said a decision has not been made yet on whether or not to permanently do away with the ROM-based translator for a full-silicon Java implementation, although Maitra says he wants that to happen. Manufacturers that have licensed Sun Microsystems Inc’s picoJava Java processor core and are building chips around that, are to produce their parts in 0.25 micron processes at 200MHz, but then again, they are not due until the second half of this year. Maitra said the PSC1000 will match that clock speed on or before that timetable. As usual, Patriot was eager to talk up imminent licensees for the PSC1000 – we are right on the verge of a design win, it claimed.