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i960 Cobra KX Embedded Microprocessor

Oblique illumination utilizing blue and red gels attached to a bifurcated optical fiber lighting system with a tungsten-halide source was employed to highlight busses and registers in the digital image presented below. Surface features were captured in reflected light microscopy assisted with differential interference contrast (DIC) optical components.

Examine a larger version of this digital image.

Code named Cobra, the i960 embedded microprocessor was first introduced in 1988, and featured 250,000 transistors installed on a silicon die fabricated with 1.5-micron linewidth technology. There are six families of embedded 32-bit RISC chips in this large and profitable group, including the older, more basic i960 KXs operating at 16, 20, and 25 Megahertz clock speeds. The Intel i80960 Cobra KA and KB versions each feature a 512-byte instruction cache. Capable of operating at 9.4 million instructions per second (MIPS), the KX processors are code-compatible with the entire i960 architecture family of chips. The KB Cobra includes an integrated floating-point unit for more math-intensive applications. Both are well suited for a wide range of embedded applications including page printers, image processing, industrial control, robotics, and telecommunications products.

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