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On February 19, 2002 AMD paid 50 million USD and purchased Alchemy Semiconductor Company. Together with a new company AMD appeared the owner of a lot of innovational developments in the SoC field (system-on-a-chip) and in the first place, of high-performance Au1000 and Au1500 processors based on MIPS32 technology licensed from MIPS. This way AMD entered a new "non-computer" processors market. Here we could list such devices as PDAs, tablet PCs, WEB pads, etc. In other words, this is a field of mobile information appliances.

Yesterday AMD officially announced Alchemy Au1100 processor. According to AMD, this CPU will set new standards in the market of mobile Internet appliances. I don’t know anything about the standards status, however, what I can state for sure is that Au1100 will appear a direct competitor to ARM-Intel tandem. And the results of AMD and Intel competition we can witness in the desktop computer market now.

As for the Alchemy Au1100 processor, it is based on Alchemy Aul core with 32bit architecture and supporting MIPS32 instructions. As for the other technical specs of the new processor die, the following ones are definitely worth mentioning: 333MHz, 400MHz or 500MHz core clock frequency, 16KB cache for instructions and 16KB cache for data, 10/100 Ethernet. The processor has the following embedded controllers: USB, IrDA, AC’97, PCMCIA, Secure Digital, SRAM/Flash EPROM. The integrated LCD controller supports up to 2 color panels (TFT and STN) with the maximum resolution of up to 1024x1024 pixels and 16bit color depth. The processor supports 100MHz SDRAM (2.5V and 3.3V). The detailed specs of the newcomer are available here.

The working samples of the new CPUs have already been sent out to those manufacturers who expressed their interest in this product. If you are buying wholesale (starting from 10000 pieces), Au1100 working at 400MHz will cost you $29.50.

Of course, the money and time spent by AMD onto the new market segment. So, if nowadays this market is kind of very slow, then by 2007 the forecast amount of pieces sold may make around 26 billion dollars and around 1.3 billion devices.

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