A recent Nikkei report indicates that
a government-backed consortium of seven Japanese companies will be developing a new CPU architecture
. The consortium, which is backed by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, consists of some of the leading Japanese semiconductor companies, including Hitachi, NEC, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Panasonic and Canon.
According to the report, the consortium’s plan is to develop a highly power-efficient CPU for use in a wide array of consumer electronics. The consortium hopes to deliver the first solar-powered prototype by the end of fiscal 2012.
A Digitimes report suggests that Taiwanese mobo makers are not optimistic of the Japanese consortium’s chances . Their sense of pessimism is “due to uncertainties in terms of the total costs of R&D manpower and funding.” The project will be kick-started with an initial funding of 3-4 billion yen (US$32-43 million).
Contrary to most reports, the new CPU architecture is apparently not aimed at challenging the dominance of Intel’s x86 CPUs, which don’t even dominate the market segment the new CPU will be developed for; the new CPU is intended for the embedded chip market.
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