CEBIT – AMD pushes HyperTransport consortium

The HyperTransport Technology Consortium expects another 30 members to join its ranks by the end of the year, bringing the total number of participants to over 70, said Gabriele Sartori, president of the consortium and “technology evangelism” director for Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD).

Speaking at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover, Germany, on Thursday, Sartori said the consortium had 30 new members already “in the pipeline,” but signing up generally takes several months because of the royalty-free rules of the consortium. “Their lawyers take a while to go through all the rules and make sure it won’t affect their business prospects,” he said.

Hyper Transport is a high-speed point-to-point I/O (input/output) link for integrated circuits that cuts the number of buses in a system to speed up operations and allow for more scalable processing. It is designed to permit chips from different vendors to work together without compatibility problems and will let OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) differentiate their products more easily than they can with current proprietary chipset offerings, Sartori said.

Sunnyvale, California-based AMD has been working on Hyper Transport since 1997 and set up the consortium in 2001, along with seven other industry companies, to push the technology. It now has 42 members, Sartori said.

A technical working group has been established to push the technology forward, and a marketing group to promote the adoption of Hyper Transport as a free interconnect standard. Three levels of membership allow companies to join as “promoters,” “contributors” and “adopters.” Adopters pay a small membership fee yet still have access to the full technology, allowing smaller companies to sign up and use the technology, Sartori said.

Intel Corp. has not joined the consortium and is pushing its own chip-to-chip interconnection technology called 3GIO, but AMD has registered its support for 3GIO (third-generation I/O), seeing the two as complementary rather than rival technologies, it said on its Web site.