Cyrix is readying a chip that combines processor, 16-bit graphics and sound in a bid to win a big share of the network computer market. Compaq is likely to be one of the first to take on the product, further exacerbating its spat with Intel, according to sources.
Brendan Sherry, managing director of Cyrix Europe, said that the GX family, already in production, will be pitched at a price that will undercut Intel?s consumer offerings and has already attracted interest from corporate users.
?The GX family grew out of the 6x86 project,? he said. ?We were able to emulate the Soundblaster 16 and take a lot [of adaptors] out of the case.?
Cyrix built prototypes last spring and showed them to its customers. ?There could be a modem on the chip too,? Sherry said. ?Corporate users asked if we could include Ethernet capability and we can do that too. It?s going to be very big for us in 1997. We think this will drive a new category of NCs.?
The advantage of including adaptor card functions on a chip is that the Cyrix GX family will run so-called 'fat' applications but at an inexpensive price, he explained. ?We?ve shipped 120 and 133MHz GX chips in this quarter and while we?re not yet in distribution, we are working with a number of OEMs,? he said.
Sherry criticised Intel for attempting to keep the price of PCs high. ?Andy Grove?s economics are driven by $1,500 to $2,000 PCs,? he claimed. ?If you want to drive PCs into the masss market, the price needs to be closer to $500. We won?t make that price next year but we will in 1998.? He said that PCs using the GX technology will cost $750 next year.
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