years of promises, the X Initiative consortium
announced last June 7, 2004 that the first commercial
chip based on the "X Architecture"
technology will shortly hit the marketplace.
During the Design
Automatic Conference (DAC), Toshiba Corp. launched
what the company claims is the industry's first
commercial SoC devices built on the X Architecture.
The X Architecture is a
new way of orienting a chip's interconnect wires with
the pervasive use of diagonal routes, in addition to
traditional right-angle "Manhattan" routing.
This supposedly results in chip designs with
significantly fewer wires and less vias.
The X Initiative, a
group of leading chip makers, is chartered with
accelerating the availability and fabrication of
devices based on the technology.
Toshiba, Infineon and
other companies are developing products based on the
technology. Last year, Toshiba announced what the
company claimed is the world's first functional
silicon based on the X Architecture technology.
Earlier this year,
Infineon Technologies AG joined the X Initiative. The
company has already achieved successful fabrication of
a 130nm test chip, the X Initiative said, adding that
Infineon plans to validate commercial circuits on the
X architecture in 2004.
Toshiba has apparently
taken a slight lead in the market. Toshiba's new chip,
the TC90400XBG, is a 130nm device for digital media
and home entertainment applications. Compared to
equivalent Toshiba products with the conventional
"Manhattan" design, the new chip
implementing the X Architecture is approximately 11
percent faster in speed and 10 percent smaller in
random logic area, according to the company.
with Cadence and members of the X Initiative to
develop the industry's first X-based SoC, Toshiba is
responding to diversifying market demands for
performance-enabling, single-chip solutions that can
result in faster and smaller chips when compared to
conventional design methodologies," said Takashi
Yoshimori, technology executive of SoC-Design at
Toshiba Semiconductor Co.
Samples of the new chip
will be available in November, and volume production
is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2005.