Cyrix to add 3D, MMX to MediaGX

Cyrix yesterday unrolled the next stage of the journey for its integrated processors and core technology, putting fast graphics at the epicentre of its plans.

Following on from the MediaGX chips that have found a home in Compaq, Elonex and other PCs, the next-generation integrated chips will be codenamed MXi, the Texan firm said at Microprocessor Forum `97.

While the MediaGX differs from standard processors by integrating graphics and sound functions on-chip, MXi will go one better by offering faster 2D and 3D graphics, as well as the highest memory bandwidth currently available -- 2Gb/sec. Like the MediaGX, the two-chip MXi will be aimed at low-cost PCs.

The MXi will be based on a new core that Cyrix calls Cayenne and will provide fully pipelined floating point and an MMX unit with 15 new multimedia floating point instructions; Cyrix has often been criticised in the past for the MMX and, more importantly, floating point performance of its chips. Also available will be support for SDRAM, AGP and DVD playback. The processor will sport a 64Kb L1 cache and will be manufactured on a 0.25-micron process.

Cyrix expects production quantities of the devices in the second half of 1998 at speeds equivalent to 300MHz-400MHz Pentium II chips. Even after the MXi ships, Cyrix said it will co-exist with the MediaGX and MediaGXM, an MMX version of the chip that will ship in PCs in the first quarter of 1998.

"This [MXi] chip will provide the industry's highest memory bandwidth, resulting in AGP performance twice that of the Pentium II processor," said Steve Tobak, vice president of corporate and channel marketing at Cyrix.

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