Now there’s Astro
Transmeta has answered Intel’s Centrino song and dance by releasing details about its latest TM8000 chip. Codenamed Astro, the new processor includes all three of the interfaces — 400MHz HyperTransport bus, DDR400 RAM and four AGP connections — on the chip. This means TM8000 can achieve more work per clock cycle, which should allow it to offer faster performance, Transmeta said. It has also boosted the number of instructions it can execute up to eight per clock cycle. No doubt Transmeta hopes these enhancements will help it to overcome the performance issues that have dogged its Crusoe processor. The TM8000 is due to go into mass production in the third quarter of 2003.
Intel reasseses Q1
Intel has reaffirmed its first-quarter revenue guidance, predicting that slightly higher sales of its PC and server processors will be offset by slightly lower sales of communications processors. First-quarter revenue should come in between $US6.6 billion and $US6.8 billion, Intel said. That is a narrower range than that given during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call in January. At that time, Intel had predicted revenue between $US6.5 billion and $US7 billion.
400MHz bus coming
A new chipset from Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) announced at CeBIT last week supports a 400MHz front-side bus for AMD’s Athlon XP processors. AMD had downplayed reports a few weeks ago that it had instructed its chipset manufacturers to include support for the bus, saying it was still evaluating its product decisions. A faster front-side bus allows data to travel between the processor and the memory at higher rates, increasing overall performance. The SiS748 chipset also features support for DDR400 (double data rate 400MHz) memory and AGP (accelerated graphics port) 8x technology.