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Encyclopedia > Weitek

Weitek Corporation was a former chip-design company that originally concentrated on floating point units for a number of commercial CPU designs. During the early to mid-1980s, Weitek designs could be found powering a number of high-end designs and parallel processing supercomputers. During the early 1990s most CPU designs started including FPUs built-into the system, basically "for free", and Weitek made a series of attempts to break into the general CPU and graphics driver market. By 1995 the company was almost dead, and in late 1996 the remains were purchased by Rockwell's Semiconductor Systems and quickly disappeared. Chip could refer to: Computing and electronics: Microprocessor Integrated circuit Microchip, which is used interchangeably with integrated circuit. ... A floating point unit (FPU) is a part of a CPU specially designed to carry out operations on floating point numbers. ... Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor in a ceramic PGA package A central processing unit (CPU), or sometimes simply processor, is the component in a digital computer that interprets and executes instructions and data contained in software. ... Parallel processing is the ability of the brain to simultaneously process incoming stimuli. ... A supercomputer is a computer that leads the world in terms of processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation, at the time of its introduction. ... Rockwell can refer to: Rockwell International - a defense company in the United States Rockwell Automation - an industrial automation company that descended from Rockwell International Rockwell Collins - a communications and aviation electronics company that also descended from Rockwell International Willard Rockwell - businessman who helped shape and name what became Rockwell International...


Weitek started in 1981, when several Intel engineers left to form their own company. Weitek developed math coprocessors for several systems, including those based on the Motorola 68000 family, the 1064, and for Intel based i286 systems, the 1067. Intel's own FPU design for the i386 fell far behind in development, and Weitek delivered the 1167 for them. Later upgrades to this design led to the 2167, 3167 and 4167. Weitek would later deliver similar FPU's for the MIPS architecture, known as the XL line. Weitek FPU's were somewhat odd, supporting single precision math only, although doing so at very fast speeds. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, HKEx: 4335), founded 1968, is a U.S.-based multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Motorola NYSE: MOT is a global communications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. ... The Motorola 680x0, 0x0, m68k, or 68k family of CISC microprocessor CPU chips were 32_bit from the start, and were the primary competition for the Intel x86 family of chips. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, HKEx: 4335), founded 1968, is a U.S.-based multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... The Intel 80286 is an x86-family 16-bit microprocessor that was introduced by Intel on February 1, 1982. ... The Intel 80386 is a microprocessor which was used as the central processing unit (CPU) of many personal computers from 1986 until 1994 and later. ... A MIPS R4400 microprocessor made by Toshiba MIPS, for Microprocessor without interlocked pipeline stages, is a RISC microprocessor architecture developed by MIPS Computer Systems Inc. ... In computing, single precision is a computer numbering format that occupies one storage locations in computer memory at address. ...


As orders increased for supercomputer applications, Weitek found themselves seriously disadvantaged by their fab, which was becoming rather "dated". HP approached them with a deal to use their newer fabs. This proved advantageous for both, and soon HP's fabs were open to anyone. Weitek also worked with HP on the design of their latest PA-RISC design, and sold their own version known as the RISC 8200 which was sold as an embedded design and saw some use in laser printers. A fab is a factory for producing integrated circuits. ... ... PA-RISC is a microprocessor architecture developed by Hewlett-Packards Systems & VLSI Technology Operation. ... In mathematics, see Embedding. ... Laser printer A laser printer is a common type of computer printer that produces high quality printing, and is able to produce both text and graphics. ...


In the late 1980s Weitek saw a new opportunity, and started developing frame buffers for Sun Microsystems workstations. In the early 1990s they also introduced the SPARC POWER µP (as in "power-up", and technically referred to as WTL 8601), a pin-compatible version of the SPARC processor. The µP could be dropped into existing SPARCStation 2 workstations and at 40MHz, about 50% faster than the CPUs it replaced. The 8701 ran twice as fast internally, providing a boost of about 50-60% in overall speed, due to the bus not getting any faster. However they did not pursue this concept with later generations of SPARC processors. The framebuffer is a part of RAM in a computer allocated to hold the graphics information for one frame or picture. ... Sun Microsystems, Inc. ... A computer workstation, often colloquially referred to as workstation, is a high-end general-purpose microcomputer designed to be used by one person at a time and which offers higher performance than normally found in a personal computer, especially with respect to graphics, processing power and the ability to carry... Sun UltraSPARC II Microprocessor Sun UltraSPARC T1 (Niagara 8 Core) SPARC (Scalable Processor ARChitecture) is a pure big-endian RISC microprocessor architecture originally designed in 1985 by Sun Microsystems. ...


Weitek turned their frame-buffer experience to the PC market in the early 90s, and introduced a series of SVGA multimedia chipsets known as the "POWER" systems. Consisting of two chips, one drawing the graphics known as the P9000 and another handling the output, the VideoPower 5x86, the POWER series was used in a number of 3rd party designs based on the VESA Local Bus standard. The P9001 moved to PCI and became fairly popular in 1994, known as the Viper in designs from Diamond and Orchid. The final generation, the P9100, combined the P9001 and 5286 into a single chip. Weitek adaptors were fairly successful in the early days of the 486 market, but fell from use as less expensive systems were introduced by a host of new players in the mid-90s. Super Video Graphics Array, almost always abbreviated to Super VGA or just SVGA is a broad term that covers a wide range of computer display standards. ... The VESA Local Bus (usually shortened to VLB) is a local bus defined by the Video Electronics Standards Association, mostly used in personal computers based on the Intel 80486 CPU. VESA Local Bus worked alongside the ISA bus; it acted as a high-speed conduit for memory-mapped I/O... For other meanings of PCI, see PCI (disambiguation). ... Diamond Multimedia is a company that specializes in many forms of multimedia technology. ... Orchid Technology was a privately held company founded by Fred Dietrich in 1982. ... The exposed die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor. ...


Weitek attempted to re-enter at the low-end of the market with their W464 (486) and W564 (P5) systems which used the host machines RAM as the frame buffer to lower costs. These were one of the reasons the company was purchased by Rockwell shortly after they shipped. Random access memory (sometimes random-access memory), commonly known by its acronym RAM, is a type of computer storage (in practice only computer chips) whose contents can be accessed in any (i. ...


External links

Weitek
- the original home page, cached but largely un-functional
Weitek Sparc2 Upgrade Chip
Weitek chip images and information on cpu-collection.de

  Results from FactBites:
 
SEC Info - Weitek Corp - 8-K - For 4/1/97 - EX-99.1 (1968 words)
Weitek agrees, as an independent contractor hereunder, to pay to each Engineer all salary, bonuses and benefits to which such Engineer is entitled under his or her employment arrangements with Weitek.
Weitek and RSS agree to adhere to such procedures at all times, to cause their respective employees to adhere to such procedures, and Weitek agrees to cause employees of SGS-Thomson to adhere to such procedures, during the term of this Agreement.
Weitek agrees to maintain policies of insurance against losses with respect to the facilities, the equipment, and its personnel (including workers' compensation insurance) of such types and in such amounts as is commercially reasonable and customary with respect to similarly situated assets and operations.
Weitek - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (619 words)
Weitek Corporation was a former chip-design company that originally concentrated on floating point units for a number of commercial CPU designs.
Weitek also worked with HP on the design of their latest PA-RISC design, and sold their own version known as the RISC 8200 which was sold as an embedded design and saw some use in laser printers.
Weitek adaptors were fairly successful in the early days of the 486 market, but fell from use as less expensive systems were introduced by a host of new players in the mid-90s.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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