Cyrix keeps other chip makers honest

Cyrix keeps other chip makers honest

The sub-$1000 PC has not only arrived, but as far as Cyrix is concerned, the specifications just get better and better. And demand for Socket 7 technology still has a way to go, heading towards the so-called "Jedi" at a speed of 450MHz in 1999.

Since its acquisition by National Semiconductor last year, and after it recently commissioned its own chip fabrication plant in the US, the manufacturing arrangement Cyrix had with IBM has been terminated.

Furthermore, Steven Tan, executive director for Cyrix distributor Westan, said he expects good things from Cyrix, and believes Intel may be regretting its decision to cease Socket 7 production.

Two product paths

According to Raj Tanna, Cyrix director of marketing, the chip maker will pursue a strategy of two product paths - M II and the integrated Media GX processor - until they converge next year in the form of the MXi processor and a completely new processor code-named Jalapeno.

Cyrix recently revealed the architecture for Jalapeno, its next generation processor core, at Microprocessor Forum '98, and claims it will deliver "unmatched performance and value for the mainstream market".

The Cyrix strategy is largely based on the trend of desktop US PC retail sales which sees growth in the under $1000 sector, flat performance at price points between $1000 and $1500 and diminishing sales at price points beyond.

In the meantime, the plans include more market development on the Socket 7 platform, while investigating Slot 1 and Socket 370 options, building on the integrated processor (Media GX) roadmap and continued development of processor cores including Jalapeno.

Cyrix processors are distributed in Australia by Westan and Alepine.

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