Monday, April 03, 2006 - Start-Up Rapport to Set Plans To Try to Enhance Chip Design

"A Silicon Valley start-up today is set to discuss plans to pack more than 1,000 simple electronic processors on a chip, an extreme example of a major shift in semiconductor design.
Rapport Inc., a closely held company in Redwood City, Calif., is already marketing a chip that has 256 processors with low-power consumption, targeting applications that include managing video on cellphones. A 1,024-processor successor is expected in mid-2007. Rapport's chips also use a processor based on an International Business Machines Corp. design known as Power.
The announcement comes as companies such as Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices have begun putting two calculating engines on their chips, boosting the performance of microprocessors used in personal computers. But some companies are producing much more complicated designs, targeting jobs that can be broken into small pieces and executed in parallel by multiple processors.
Cell, a chip jointly designed by IBM, Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. that will be used in Sony's next PlayStation console, features eight processors. 3Plus1 Technologies Inc., of Saratoga, Calif., is developing chips for cellphones with two to eight processors. PicoChip Designs Ltd., Bath, England, has focused mainly on cellular base stations with chips that have more than 300 processors."

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