SAN JOSE -- At the Embedded Systems Conference here, Rise Technology Co. disclosed more details about its plans to compete in the x86-based microprocessor business.
The San Jose-based company rolled out the first member of its iDragon System-on-Chip line, an x86-based processor designed for use in set-top boxes, Internet appliances, and related products (see Sept. 25 story).
The first product, called the iDragon SCX501, is a 66- or 90-MHz chip that consists of several components on the same device, including an SDRAM interface, 2D graphics engine, video input, TV output, and core logic for PCI, ISA, and IDE interfaces.
Competing against similar chips from National Semiconductor Corp. and others, the iDragon SCX501 is ideal for low-cost Internet-access products, said David Lin, chief executive of Rise.
"If you are in the mainstream PC business, the key is high-frequency [x86 -based processors]," Lin said in an interview with SBN. "In the Internet appliance market, the key is low power. This is what we specialize in."
The iDragon SCX501 represents the company's second product line. Earlier this year, it rolled out the MP6, a non-integrated, 200/250-MHz processor for notebook PCs.
But Rise decided to scrap plans to enter the mainstream x86-based procesor business in order to focus on the less-competitive MPU market for set-top boxes and related products, Lin said.
However, the original MP6 product is currently being used in a set-top box being marketed in China by software powerhouse Microsoft Corp. Dubbed Venus, Microsoft's set-top box is expected to move in production by year's end.
In the future, Microsoft's Venus will migrate from the MP6 to future chips in the iDragon System-on-Chip product family, Lin said.
To help develop the product line, Rise recently struck a deal to license technology from STMicroelectronics Inc. ST, along with Taiwan's United Microe lectronics Corp., serve as Rise's foundry partners.
The iDragon SCX501 comes in a 388-pin PBGA package, but prices were not given. The chip is now shipping.