Fast14® Technology (is) a unique style of digital logic that delivers multi-GHz performance from standard CMOS manufacturing processes. Ordinarily, such high performance logic requires large teams of engineers that spend years producing handcrafted custom circuits. With over 60 patents issued, Intrinsity's chip design technology delivers power efficient, multi-GHz performance in a highly automated design flow enabling quick time to market from small design teams.In February 2004, Intrinsity signed a deal with ATI, licensing this technology to them. Here is what ATI said about this deal in an Intrinsity press release:
"We're combining ATI's pioneering leadership in consumer technologies with Intrinsity's proven chip-design technology to create innovative products with stunning levels of visualization and integration," said Bob Feldstein, Vice President of Engineering, ATI Technologies, Inc. "We selected Intrinsity after determining that Fast14 Technology can deliver up to four times the performance per silicon dollar when compared with standard design approaches."Subsequently, the Xbox forums went haywire about the possibility that ´Fast14´ might be included in the Xbox360 (then tentatively titled ´Xbox 2´). Immediately after the licensing deal, The Inquirer wrote:
Now let's put the pieces all together. Microsoft has chosen IBM, a long time maker of mainframes and supercomputers to manufacture the XBOX 2's CPU...a variant of the Power4 CPU known as the G5. It is high performance and highly efficient, and thus much cooler than any X-86 chip which allows a multi-CPU design to be put into a much smaller form factor than a comparable multi X-86 design. The G5 has embedded in it a Vector Math unit which processes multimedia instructions much like Intel's SSE instructions. (...) Enter now the graphics chip side of things. The new ATI GPU using Intrensity's Fast14 dynamic logic process is a fantastic technological compliment to IBM's G5.To my knowledge, there was no mention of the Xenon chip in the Xbox360 utilizing this kind of technology. In fact, there is no mention of this in any hardware forum, which I regard as proof that Xenon does not draw on ´Fast14´ technology.
Now think: Microsoft and Nintendo have identical partners for their CPU and GPU. The Revolution´s CPU (codenamed Broadway) will also be based on a G5 chip. So, the Revolution´s GPU (codenamed Hollywood) may indeed feature ´Fast14´ technology. In fact, seeing how the Revolution will be underpowered compared to its competitors, it would make perfect sense.
The critically minded should consider that there is no mention of ´Fast14´ on ATI´s website. Since the licensing agreement is obviously still valid, this would suggest that ATI wants to keep work on these chips under wraps. Again, this would make perfect sense if related to the Nintendo Revolution. For more hardware-minded people, there is a semi-understandable description of ´Fast14´ over at BDTI.
Sources: Intrinsity, Intrinsity, The Inquirer, The Inquirer, Chairman Steve
Thanks to: Product_Number_18