Silicon Graphics to focus on Merced

Silicon Graphics to focus on Merced
Tom Foremski
Silicon Graphics (SGI) has scrapped the development of key high end MIPS microprocessors as it moves more strongly toward using Intel’s Merced microprocessors.
According to sources close to SGI, the next and last major new MIPS microprocessor will be the R14000 in 1999 but will phase out its MIPS based systems in 2001 as faster Merced microprocessors become available.
SGI decided that since it would be using Merced microprocessors, it would save R&D by concentrating on Intel based systems. The move is also part of SGI’s plans to spin off its MIPS Technologies subsidiary.
NEC, a major producer of MIPS chips is expected to take up the slack on new MIPS microprocessor development. But NEC and other MIPS licensees are mostly interested in embedded systems markets which are booming, a market dominated by MIPS microprocessors.
In separate news, SGI has sued graphics chip maker Nvidia, claiming that the Riva graphics chips use SGI’s patented texture mapping technology.

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