SAN JOSE, Calif., October 21, 1996 - Exponential Technology, emerging as one of the industry's premier developers of high-performance microprocessor products and technologies, today announced the world's fastest PC microprocessor, the Exponential X704. The Exponential X704 is designed for high-end PowerPC-compatible systems.
With a core clock speed of 533MHz - more than twice the speed of any PC microprocessor solution currently available - the Exponential X704 brings workstation-class processing power to PCs, raising the performance bar for personal computing.
"Today's announcement will cause the industry to stand up and take notice," said Satjiv Chahil, Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Apple Computer. "We think the Exponential X704 has the potential to redefine PC multimedia computing, and bring a major competitive advantage to the PowerPC platform and the Macintosh product family. This innovation should be especially attractive to power-Macintosh users who demand uncompromised performance for their high-end graphics and multimedia applications."
Driven by users' insatiable appetite for faster PC performance, the Exponential X704 is specifically designed to meet the extraordinary processing demands of compute-intensive applications - including desktop publishing, image processing, Web page creation, video editing, digital animation, and high-end graphics/multimedia applications. The Exponential X704 not only meets, but exceeds these demands, offering a level of PC performance unmatched by competitive solutions currently available.
At 533MHz, the Exponential X704 unleashes the power of the most demanding professional Macintosh/PowerPC applications - including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and AfterEffects, and Macromedia FreeHand - allowing users to do more in less time for increased productivity.
"At 533MHz, Exponential's microprocessor really screams," said Mark Kirstein, Group Manager, PC Market Services of In-Stat, a semiconductor market research firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona. "Exponential's innovative BiCMOS microprocessor technology and impressive product roadmap gives them a substantial advantage in the highly competitive semiconductor industry."
The Exponential X704 microprocessor will enter volume production in the second quarter of 1997. System announcements are also expected in the second quarter of 1997.
A Sustainable Advantage
Exponential believes it is the first start-up semiconductor company to aim from its inception for a performance leadership position in the microprocessor market.
Exponential's microprocessor design is based on an innovative approach to a semiconductor manufacturing technology called "BiCMOS." Exponential's BiCMOS design uses a well-established "bipolar" process, known for its ultra-fast speed, to form the core logic of the microprocessor. A more common "CMOS" process is used for on-chip memory.
Exponential's unique BiCMOS approach enables PC manufacturers to build and deliver competitively priced, high-performance systems years before competitive solutions can reach similar microprocessor speed levels. (Please see Exponential's BiCMOS Technology white paper for more information.)
"With the announcement of our 533MHz microprocessor, Exponential is firmly establishing a position of leadership within the industry," said Rick Shriner, President and CEO, Exponential Technology. "Our innovative BiCMOS process clearly differentiates our product from competitive solutions."
"In addition, the unique combination of personnel we have assembled with expertise in microprocessor design and bipolar technology truly sets Exponential apart within the industry, giving us a long-term competitive advantage," Shriner said.
Licensed PowerPC Architecture
Designed to provide high performance while maintaining compatibility with established industry specifications and standards, the Exponential X704 is fully compatible with all existing PowerPC/Macintosh applications. With its unparalleled processing power, the Exponential X704 will unleash the full power of these applications, giving users a robust PC productivity tool.
In addition, the Exponential X704 is fully compatible with existing PowerPC hardware standards, including the 60X system bus, and is also compatible with evolving industry standards, including the Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP). This allows PC manufacturers to easily design and incorporate Exponential X704-based systems into their existing product lines, while minimizing the implementation costs normally passed on to consumers.
Industry Support for Exponential
In addition to Apple, Exponential has also received wide support from IBM and Motorola, the remaining members of the AIM alliance (a consortium of companies guiding the direction of the PowerPC platform), as well as other key players in the PowerPC industry:
"IBM congratulates Exponential on their development of a new PowerPC microprocessor," said Ron Black, Director of PowerPC Microprocessor Business, IBM Microelectronics. "The Exponential microprocessor is clear proof of the strength of the PowerPC architecture."
"We think it is a positive step that microprocessor designers like Exponential can take PowerPC technology in a different, new direction," said Phil Pompa, Director of Marketing, Motorola RISC Microprocessor Division. "It will help grow the applications leadership already achieved by the PowerPC architecture."
"Today's announcement marks an important step in the evolution of the PowerPC platform," said Steve Kahng, President and CEO, Power Computing Corporation. "Exponential's high-speed microprocessor brings a great advantage to the platform and will enable Power to continue our track record of leading-edge MacOS performance."
"Exponential's microprocessor promises to raise the performance bar for desktop computing," said Peter Mehring, General Manager and Vice President of Research and Development at UMAX Computer Corporation. "This announcement should be of special interest to users who need powerful system performance for their compute-intensive graphics and multimedia applications, but aren't willing to pay workstation-class prices."
Pricing and Availability
The Exponential X704 will be priced at the $1,000 price point for large volume production orders.
The Exponential X704 will also be available in 500MHz and 466MHz versions, providing PC manufacturers with the flexibility to offer consumers several PC solutions.
Exponential Technology is committed to delivering high performance microprocessor products using innovative design techniques and process technologies. The company's high-speed, bipolar logic, BiCMOS microprocessor devices are specifically designed to meet the critical processing requirements of compute-intensive applications. Exponential intends to deliver breakthrough computing power that is cost-effective and maintains compatibility with industry-standard technology. Exponential was founded in June 1993 and is located in San Jose, California.
Led by industry veterans Gordon Campbell and Rick Shriner, Exponential has secured $17 million of financing from Apple Computer Corp., Venrock Associates, Nazem and Co., Woodside Fund, Itochu, Innotech, and various individual investors.