Hitachi Semiconductor has announced an SGRAM chip the company claims breaks records for bus speed and bandwidth for high-end workstations and PCs. The 16-Mbit (512kb x 32-bit) SGRAM chip, dubbed the HM5216326, is the first 2Mb, 125MHz solution for 2D/3D environments providing 500Mb bandwidth on an LVTTL (Low Voltage Transistor Transistor Logic) interface. Hitachi claims the SGRAM's built-in graphics logic will be welcomed by design engineers who will benefit from the chip's inherent simplicity, which includes a pipelined architecture for faster write transfer rates. The chip uses a block write function (built into the 16-Mbit SGRAM) for performing block transfers such as tiling, while the write mask (write-per-bit) function frees up system performance when managing screen colour. Designers of graphics engines can use these functions and the HM5216326's synchronous operation and two-bank architecture to produce swift response and very high resolution workstation display performance. Richard Gordon, senior analyst at Dataquest, welcomed the design. "What's interesting about this chip is its bi-32 design," he explained. "This is an achievement for Hitachi, because up until now engineers have had to battle against electrical noise between the chip's pins. They've achieved that and produced a chip that's not revolutionary, but another step in the evolution of these sort of products."
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