AMD expands push in embedded processor market with new 32-bit RISC chip

In another bold move within the embedded processor market, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. here today announced a new 32-bit chip, based on a RISC technology from Mips Technologies Inc.

The new Au1100 processor from AMD was original developed by Alchemy Semiconductor Inc. In early February, AMD acquired Austin, Tex.-based Alchemy to gain high-performance RISC processor technology for communications systems. The deal was worth $50 million.

With the acquisition, AMD moved to compete against other companies in the embedded processor space, such as IBM, Intel, Motorola, and others, according to analysts.

AMD's Au1100 is geared for non-PC mobile applications, such as PDAs, web pads, telematic systems and other products, said Billy Edwards, vice president and general manager of AMD's Personal Connectivity Solutions group.

The chip is targeted for the mobile information appliance market, which is expected to reach $26 billion and 1.3 billion units shipped by the year 2007, according to Edwards.

The performance and power consumption of the Au1100 ranges from 333-MHz at less than 200-mW, 400-MHz at 250-mW, and 500-MHz at 500-mW. The Au1100 processor is designed to run a variety of operating systems, including Windows, CE.NET, Linux and VxWorks.

The Au1100 actually represents Alchemy's third RISC processor in the market. Prior to the acquisition, the company also announced the Au1000 and Au1500. The Au1000 is in production while the Au1500 is sampling.

The Au1100 builds upon Alchemy's Au1 core, which is based on a 32-bit RISC chip from Mips. Like the Au1000 and Au1500, the Au1100 is a system-on-a-chip (SOC) design.

Specifically, the Au1100 integrates a LCD controller, two Secure Digital (SD) controllers, and support Universal Serial Bus (USB). It also supports 10/100-megabits-per-second Ethernet, infrared, and AC'97.

The Au1100 processor at 400-MHz is priced at $29.50 in 10,000 unit quantities. Samples are now available, according to Sunnyvale-based AMD.

News source: SiliconStrategies

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