Cyrix MediaGX

The introduction of the MediaGX processor in February 1997 defined the first new PC architecture in a decade, and ignited a new market category – the low-cost Basic PC. The growth of this market proved to be been explosive, and Cyrix’s processor technology and system-level innovation a critical component.

The more processing that occurs on a PC’s CPU itself, the more efficient the overall system performance. In traditional computer designs, the CPU processes data at the megahertz of the chip, while the bus that moves data to and from other components operates at only half that speed, or even less. This means that data movement to and from the CPU takes more time – and the potential for data stalls increases. Cyrix eliminated this bottleneck with MediaGX technology.

The MediaGX architecture integrates the graphics and audio functions, the PCI interface and the memory controller into the processor unit, thereby eliminating potential system conflicts and end-user configuration problems. It consists of two chips – the MediaGX processor and the MediaGX Cx5510 companion chip. The processor uses a propriety socket requiring a specially designed motherboard.

The MediaGX processor is a x86-compatible processor which directly interfaces to a PCI bus and EDO DRAM memory over a dedicated 64-bit data bus. Cyrix claims that the compression technique used over the data bus obviates the need for a Level 2 cache. There is 16KB unified Level 1 cache on the CPU – the same amount as on a standard Pentium chip.

Graphics are handled by a dedicated pipeline on the CPU itself and the display controller is also on the main processor. There is no video memory, the frame buffer being stored in main memory without the performance degradation associated with traditional Unified Memory Architecture (UMA), using instead Cyrix’s own Display Compression Technology (DCT). VGA data operations are handled in hardware, but VGA registers and controls are controlled through Cyrix’s Virtual System Architecture (VSA) software.

Cyrix

The companion chip, the MediaGX Cx5510, houses the audio controller and again uses VSA software to mimic the functionality of industry standard audio chips. It also provides the bridge to the ISA bus and IDE and I/O ports. It bridges the MediaGX processor over the PCI bus to the ISA bus and interfaces to the IDE and I/O ports and also performs traditional chipset functions.

After its acquisition by National Semiconductor in November 1997, the new company reasserted its intention to compete with Intel and to focus on driving down the price of PCs by continuing to develop its PC on a chip Media GX technology. By the summer of 1998 MediaGX processors, based on 0.25-micron fabrication, had reached speeds of 233MHz and 266MHz, with higher speed grades expected by the end of the year.

In fact, with parent National Semiconductor in financial difficulty, the MediaGX faced increasing pressure from Intel’s and AMD’s budget chips, which also continued to get less expensive while offering much greater performance. As a consequence, the MediaGX – which had been considered a performance product in 1996 – found itself in danger of completely losing its market as it was progressively relegated to the mid-range, then the entry level and finally to the fringe of the entry level.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Cyrix MediaGX, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Latest Articles

dmawin98.gif

CD-RW Installation Optimization

To achieve top speeds for reading and writing with your CD-ReWriter drive, direct memory access (DMA) must be enabled for the drive. To enable DMA under Windows 95, 98, or Me: Click the Start button, then Settings, then Control Panel, then double-click on System icon, then click on Device … [Read More...]

USB 2.0 Intefaces

While USB was originally designed to replace legacy serial and parallel connections, notwithstanding the claims that they were complementary technologies, there can be little doubt that USB 2.0 specification was designed to compete with FireWire. Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lucent, … [Read More...]

Win 7 Security 2012

Remove Win 7 Security 2012

Win 7 Security 2012 Win 7 Security 2012 is part of a multi rogue malware set. It goes by several different names. The purpose of this kind of malware client is to trick or force the user into making a purchase of the program. It does this by blocking normal programs from running and not letting … [Read More...]

Virus Guides

062315_0249_InBoxNowToo1.gif

InBoxNow Toolbar Removal

The InboxNow toolbar is another browser plugin that promises lots of useful features, but all it gives you is a bunch of headaches. If you have noticed this toolbar in your browser it is recommended to remove it as soon as possible. It will attach … [Read More...]

062615_0020_RemoveInsta1.gif

Remove InstantRadioPlay Toolbar

InstantRadioPlay Toolbar is another problematic toolbar that promises to offer useful features. It will allow you to listen to the radio online through the toolbar. You may think that is a useful feature, but if you have this toolbar, you should make … [Read More...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *