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March 28, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

Motorola’s Microprocessor Products Group in Austin, Texas finally lifted the veil on its next generation 32-bit 68040 microprocessor. It claims that the part, which integrates the floating point unit with the CPU, is the first microprocessor to incorporate more than 1.2m transistors. It is also claimed to be the fastest complex-instruction set microprocessor ever, outperforming all 32-bit competing architectures and many RISCs. The main features include integer unit, floating-point unit, memory management unit and separate caches for data and instructions – plus hardware that supports multiprocessing designs – so that it represents much more of an advance over the 68030 than that chip was over the 68020 – the 68030 simply added memory manager. But that is all Motorola is saying: pricing, delivery and other details will be given later in the year. Hewlett-Packard Co said it will incorporate the 68040 in new HP9000 workstations, becoming the first to endorse the new chip. Motorola’s sneak preview of the part is widely seen as a spoiling tactic to draw thunder from Intel’s 80486, due to be announced in two weeks.

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