Monday, May 05, 2008

RapidIO fans out

Tom Cox pointed out to me that I missed a milestone back in February when RMI Corp. (formerly Raza Microelectronics) announced a processor for wireless base stations using a native serial RapidIO interface. It was the first MIPS chip with the interface that has previously been used in PowerPCs and DSPs.

No big surprise that anything linking into the wireless base station might go RIO, given the traction the group has gotten in DSP farms there with Ericsson, TI and others. But will the MIPS win expand beyond RMI?

Cox, executive director of the RIO trade group, suggests the right dynamics are in place. Cost reduction, the need for better communications links and the rise of multicore processors will drive out FPGA-based bridges in use today between MIPS chips and RIO farms, he said.

The RIO group has gotten several new members recently including Nortel and Qualcomm. No word on exactly what these folks are up to yet. If you have some insights, post a comment or drop me a line at rbmerrit@cmp.com

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