Few surprises were in store for visitors to the annual Microprocessor Forum in San Jose this week, with big guns like Intel holding their fire until the first quarter of next year. However, there were a few announcements at the industry's most prestigious event, including the latest version of Hewlett-Packard's PA-Risc family.
The HP 8200 revamps the PA-Risc family. The chip has a clock speed of 220MHz, and better cache and memory management. HP claimed it will boost 64-bit performance by a factor of around 25 per cent when it becomes available in volume next year.
But the announcement posed questions about the future of the PA-Risc family. Intel and HP are working together on the introduction of the P7 (Merced) processor, and sources at the company have said that Intel has two designs ready, one with backwards compatibility and one without. Company officials declined to comment on future technology.
Plans for the P7 are apparently well advanced and Intel has already briefed major OEMs about the likely roadmap for the processor.
Intel did say it would release an MMX chip in January next year, as widely reported before. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Cyrix followed suit, although the last uses its own technology rather than licensing it from Intel.
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