StrongARM last orders passesBy Chris Williams. Published: 24th Jun 2003, 22:05:42 | Permalink | Printable
We'll miss you SA110Stop the clock! Drobe reader "Sprow" has this evening pointed out that the 'last orders' deadline on the SA110 aka the StrongARM has passed. According to an Intel Product Change Notification [pdf], the StrongARM processor was discontinued during December 2002 however developers have been given until the 16th June 2003 to place "last time buy" orders for the chip.
Employing the Harvard Architecture and boasting two caches and speeds over 200MHz, the StrongARM started off life as a joint venture between Acorn and Digital. The first prototype was powered up in March 1996, according to Robert McMordie's Acorn History. The release of the StrongARM processor card and RISC OS 3.7 left the RISC OS userbase on quite a high in 1997.
Everyone will agree that the StrongARM has served us all very well and you may recall a 300MHz version appearing in the Castle Kinetic range at one point. But it's 2003 now and there's newer, faster alternatives to the legacy StrongARM processor. The Intel PCN note clearly encourages customers to "evaluate other Intel XScale microarchitecture-based products", adding that "possible replacements for the SA110 are the IOP310 chipset, the IOP321, and the 80200, as well as other processors soon to be launched."
So the IOP321 processor used in the Castle Iyonix is safe for now, however we don't know how this final discontinuation of the StrongARM processor affects the MicroDigital Omega. The Omega employs a 300Mhz StrongARM chip but MicroDigital expect to follow this up with an XScale second processor solution. The discontinuation will however shut the door on any future proposed StrongARM based designs.
So raise a glass to the SA. Final SA110 orders placed in time before the 16th June deadline are expected to ship before the end of 2003.
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