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September 15, 1998

MOTOROLA ADDS HIGH-END POWER PC COMMUNICATIONS CHIP

By CBR Staff Writer

Motorola Inc says it has boosted the performance of its embedded PowerPC line of processors by ten times with a price increase of two times in its latest iteration, the MPC8260 PowerQuicc II. With Apple Computer Inc now the only volume systems manufacturer using the PowerPC, Motorola’s primary interest has turned to embedded systems, particularly networking, which it says will soon overtake the PC market in both volumes and performance. The new part, based on the PowerPC 603e core running at between 100MHz and 200MHz, is a continuation of Motorola’s existing – and continuing – 860 line, used by telecommunications firms such as Lucent Technologies Inc, Alcatel NV, Bay Networks Inc, Siemens AG and Nokia Oy. Cisco Systems Inc is also said to be considering using the chip. Along with the faster core, there is a 133MHz-or 166MHz communications processor module. It’s positioned as the first high-end embedded PowerPC device. While the 860 line has had between 500 and 600 design wins, in such applications as base stations and communications controllers, since it was launched back in 1995, Motorola hopes the new version will get it wins in high performance routers and central office switches. These represent lower volume shipments, but would give Motorola a wider spread of the market with a compatible chipset. The chip will work in conjunction with Motorola’s new static RAM enhanced digital signal processor chip, the 56307, also announced yesterday. Prices start from $105 in quantities of 10,000. Samples are available, with volumes due by the first quarter of next year. A future version, due out next year, will add an on- chip PCI bridge, and several more derivatives are planned.

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