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December 3, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 4:23pm


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp and Motorola Inc say they have agreed an architectural definition for future generations of embedded PowerPC RISC chips but haven’t yet divided up the responsibility for design, development and manufacturing. The two companies currently develop their own lines of low-power, embedded PowerPC chips based upon and compatible with their Somerset design shop’s high- performance desktop and server CPUs. Evidently they’ve decided a single development stream will be more economical given the state of the PowerPC market and agreed some months ago to pool resources on future embedded designs (CI No 3,279). Somerset doesn’t do any embedded design work. The two say full details of the Book E embedded architecture will be made public next year once they’ve decided how they are going to work together. Book E is expected to define new instructions, multimedia extensions, a 16-bit instruction set for code compression and more, though first implementations are said to be at least two years out. Meantime IBM is has stripped the floating point unit from the desktop PowerPC 603e and is selling it in 100MHz, 166MHz and 200MHz clock speeds as the EM603e for high-performance embedded applications. Prices start at $20 and change for 10,000-up. Motorola already offers an almost identical part as the EC603. IBM has also cut prices on its low-power embedded PowerPC 400 controller family which now costs from $8.60 for 10,000-up.

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