AMD joins forces with Chinese chip designer for thin clients

Advanced Micro Devices has teamed up with Chinese CPU designer BLX IC Design to develop thin-client computers based on...

Advanced Micro Devices has teamed up with Chinese CPU designer BLX IC Design to develop thin-client computers based on microprocessors from both companies.

AMD and BLX have opened a joint development centre in Beijing to work on reference designs for thin-client computers based on AMD's Alchemy processor family and BLX's Godson-1 processor.

The two companies have released one thin-client reference design based on Godson-1 and plan to release another based on Alchemy in January.

The BLX Thin Client GSTB-3602 reference design is based on the 32-bit Godson-1 chip, which is available in 200MHz and 266MHz versions.

The reference design, which is intended to be used in low-cost thin clients and network firewalls, calls for up to 128Mbytes of SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic RAM) and runs Linux. Support for Microsoft's Windows CE and other operating systems is planned in the future.

The BLX Thin Client GSTB-4001 reference design is slated to be released next month. Designed for use as a thin-client, network firewall or in an embedded control application, the GSTB-4001 is based on a 400MHz Alchemy Au1500 processor and can support up to 128M bytes of SDRAM.

The GSTB-4001 is designed for systems running Linux, but future support for Windows CE and other operating systems is also planned.

BLX was established in 2002 to commercialise the Godson-1 chip, which was designed by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Science's Institute of Computing Technology. Like AMD's Alchemy chips, the Godson-1 is based on the MIPS instruction set.

The partnership with BLX is the second deal between AMD and a Chinese company to be announced this week.

AMD said it would set up a design centre in Beijing with Founder Group. That design centre will focus on the development of home digital media centres based on AMD's Alchemy and Geode processor families.

Sumner Lemon writes for IDG News Service

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