Cyrix is upping the stakes in the increasingly competitive semiconductor market after announcing that it will start volume production of its 6x86MX processor on .25 micron processing technology this summer at the National Semiconductor plant in Maine.
Cyrix successfully produced functioning 6x86MX chips on.25 micron technology at its own pilot plant last week but the new chips will be the first Cyrix-designed product to be produced at a National facility since the companies merged last November.
Cyrix will continue its relationship with IBM Microelectronics which currently manufactures the existing 6x86MX chips because Cyrix does not have its own fabrication facilities and wants to maintain volumes. The merger with Nat Semi overcame this problem for Cyrix, which was considering the need for a multi-million dollar fabrication plant.
Cyrix aims to have a much greater production capacity with the .25 micron technology and Nat Semi plant and is aiming for in excess of 10 million units in 1998. By going to .25 micron design, National and Cyrix have achieved a major breakthrough over previous technologies, reducing the chip size from 150mm square to just 88mm square. Smaller line widths will allow the company to increase revenues by squeezing more chips onto every wafer produced.