TOKYO -- Toshiba Corp. and MIPS Technologies Inc. late today announced plans to co-develop next-generation, 64-bit microprocessors, based on MIPS' code-named "Amethyst" RISC processor core.
Toshiba will take the "Amethyst" core and develop what it calls the world's fastest 64-bit chip for embedded applications. ArTile Microsystems Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc., will join the co-development program.
The core is reportedly based on MIPS' new 600-MHz version of its 64-bit MIPS64 RISC core, which is based on a 0.13-micron process. The new superscalar 20Kc "hard" core is scalable to 1-GHz speeds when produced in next-generation 0.10-micron processes, according to MIPS of Mountain View, Calif. (see Feb. 14 story ).
Toshiba's product, dubbed the TX99, is geared for cost- and power-sensitive embedded applications, such as automotive telematics, office automation, multimedia home gateways, digital consumer products and networking, said Katsuji Fujita, vice president and executive vice president of the System LSI Division at Toshiba of Tokyo.
"The opportunities offered by this joint development will allow us to realize the earliest introduction of the industry's highest performing embedded microprocessor," Fujita said.
Toshiba already claims to have garnered design wins for the chip. "As the result of Toshiba's and MIPS Technologies' strong commitment to promote this microprocessor, we have already seen two TX99-based SoC design wins, for automotive telematicsand office automation applications," he added.
The TX99 will feature MIPS-3D ASE (application specific extension) for execution of multimedia tasks, enabling the chip to run at speeds over 1-GHz, said Toshinori Moriyasu, general manager of Microprocessor Division at Toshiba.
Development tools and applications software will be available from numerous third-party suppliers, including Alg orithmics, Green Hills Software, Mentor Graphics, Microsoft, MontaVista, Red Hat and Wind River. In addition, the MIPS Alliance Program (MAP) supports the availability of critical hardware and software such as 802.11, Bluetooth, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, audio algorithms, ATM, and others.
Toshiba will launch its initial product in the first quarter of 2003 and bring a TX99-based general microprocessor to market by the end of 2003.