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Background--Why not the 9995/99000?

We will be abandoning the 9995 node board project and the plans to redesign the M9900 CPU with the 9995. There are two major reasons for this:

First, the major problem we are having with all 9900 work is exhaustion of the 64K address space of the 9900. Neither the 9995 nor the 99000 solve this problem. The 99000 allows larger memory, and could be used with a segmentation scheme, but this is not a general solution and could not be used by unsophisticated users. We have to have a system where we can simply let the user buy more memory when his program won't fit. Thus, the major advantages of both the 9995 and the 99000 are higher performance, but neither of them delivers enough extra performance to compete effectively with the newer processors from Zilog and Motorola.

Second, The 9900 family is a largely unknown product since T.I. has failed to effectively promote it. The 99/4, considered T.I.'s last chance to establish recognition for the processor, is widely considered a flop. There is nothing in the 9900 family and nothing expected to be added which would cause a designer today to design in the 9900. Thus, the future for the 9900 is not bright. T.I. has been dropping product lines (bubble memories, watches) in response to poor market response, and the 9900 may go that way. It seems clear that if T.I. is to become a contender in the high-end micro market, it will not be with the 9900, so we would have to convert anyway. Remember, this isn't the first time this happened. The TI-ASC, for years the fastest computer in the world, only sold 7 units, 5 to T.I. divisions. Most people were unaware it existed. They dropped the product.

Editor: John Walker