Consumers will have to wait a while to enjoy the benefits of Sun's new family of convergence processors, analysts have warned.
Details of Sun's new Java based processors, which are designed to power media rich consumer devices, began to emerge yesterday (See Newswire 2 August), but analyst's are skeptical that the technology will match up to Sun's predictions in the short term.
The new processor architecture, code named MAJC - microprocessor architecture for Java computing - and pronounced "magic" is due to be unveiled at the Hotchips conference in the US on 16 August and details of the first chip implementation are expected on 4 October.
Sun officials told VNU Newswire that the new chips are designed specifically for applications such as graphics, audio and video, and have "extraordinary performance combined with cost effective silicon implementation."
They will be used in devices such as screen phones, high end digital set top boxes and speech recognition servers.
Jeff O'Neal, group marketing manager for MAJC, explained. "The architecture also provides for multi-processors on a single chip. It's a very simple design that enables very high clock rates. It's designed to work in devices in the $50 to $250 price range."
He added that the architecture was "general purpose" which means it has the ability to execute C, C++ and Java programming languages.
"Pentium just doesn't match up. The key difference is that it is based on Cisc architecture that began over 20 years ago. However, with MAJC, because of Java, we were able to start with a clean sheet of paper and decide what we wanted it to include, such as multi threading and DSP."
O'Neal said the first products based on the processors should be available early next year.
However, analysts warned that Sun's predictions for product time frames are a little optimistic.
Garter analyst Martin Reynolds said: "This sounds like a combination of a microprocessor and DSP, with Java optimization."
He added: "The combination should be very effective, bringing rich content to Java based applications. I still feel that we are a few years away from Java's window, so I would not expect too much in the beginning."
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