Rise Technology officially joined the ranks of Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Cyrix and IDT on Tuesday when it launched its first x86-compatible chip at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose.
The company was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, Intel's home town. Like IDT - another recent entry into the CPU market - Rise is targetting its products mainly at the price sensitive low-end of the PC sector - the area where Intel is considered most vulnerable.
The Rise mP6 processor was designed with high multimedia performance and low power consumption in mind, and will execute three MMX instructions in one clock cycle, Ken Munson, Rise's principal engineer claimed.
He added that the chip also contained special circuitry to minimise power consumption, making it a viable alternative for the portable market. As a result, Rise is positioning the offering for use with Windows-based terminals, Windows CE-based systems and set-top boxes.
But in some respects, Rise has opted for a very traditional design because its processor has a relatively short, 6-stage pipeline and uses a small 16 KB level 1 cache. Munson attested, however, that the performance of the core processor will beat a similarly clocked Pentium II by about 15 percent.
The CPU is based on a 100 MHz Super Socket 7 (SS7) bus, which is the same as the one used by the AMD K6-2, but Munson said it had been tested and worked with Socket 7 and Super Socket 7 chipsets from other vendors such as Acer and Intel.
He added that Rise may also consider using the ?socket 370? design that Intel is developing for future Celeron processors.
This quarter, the firm plans to launch two different chips based on the mP6 core. The initial mP6 processor will move into full production, while the second, dubbed the mP6 II, will feature a 256 KB on-chip level 2 cache and begin sampling at the same time.
Both chips will debut in .25 micron technology, but the mP6 II is expected to move to .18 micron at a later stage.
Although Rise is a ?fabless? chip company with no production facilities of its own, Munson said he expected no difficulty in meeting demand for chip manufacture.
But he would not disclose who the firm's manufacturing partners were, except to say that the parties involved had a cross-licensing agreement with Intel.
No pricing was available.
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