Sun, Apple, Transmeta support HyperTransport

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced Tuesday that it has formed the HyperTransport Technology Consortium to further adoption of its chip communication technology.

HyperTransport is the interface that chips on the motherboard use to communicate with other elements that aren't on the CPU (central processing unit). The technology enables data transmission between the chips inside the PC to reach speeds of 12.8G bps (bits per second). There are currently about 180 companies involved in the development of HyperTransport, AMD said in a statement.

The charter members of the new consortium are Apple Computer Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Transmeta Corp., NVidia Corp., API NetWorks Inc. and PMC-Sierra Inc.

The chief aims of the consortium will be to raise public awareness of the technology and to give companies a forum to discuss advantages in adopting the technology, Dave Rich, general manager of network silicon at API NetWorks said in an interview. API NetWorks has been working with AMD on HyperTransport since 1998.

"For one thing, there are some companies who are not going to adopt a critical core technology that's hard to move off of, without having a defined way to publicly talk about the specification," Rich said. "Now companies will feel comfortable that they're not joining some secret society."

Until now, customers have had to rely on information from different companies, and there has been no central repository for information about HyperTransport, Rich said. "There ought to be some public awareness of what it is, what it's used for, and who is adopting it," he said.

The HyperTransport Technology Consortium is a nonprofit corporation formed to promote the development and adoption of the HyperTransport specification, AMD said. Companies can apply to become members of the consortium at two levels, Contributors or Adopters, based on how actively they chose to participate in technical and marketing activities, AMD said.

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