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Motorola Inc, disappointed by its lack of success in the mainstream computer systems market, has optimized its desktop PowerPC 603 microprocessor for the embedded market in the shape of the PowerPC EC603. The chip, which runs at clock speeds between 100 and 200MHz and has a typical power dissipation of 3.2 watts at 166MHz, is functionally identical to the standard 603, except that the floating point function is not available. Motorola says it’s the first time it has optimized a desktop PowerPC microprocessor expressly for embedded applications, and says it plans to do the same again, modifying other PowerPC microprocessors introduced in desktop systems and migrating them to the embedded market. Following Apple Computer Inc’s withdrawal from the clone marketplace, which led to Motorola’s own Computer Systems Division scrapping its line of PowerPC systems, Motorola announced its intention of re-directing resources away from mainstream CPUs towards the embedded marketplace (CI No 3,246). It claims the number of development tools available for the architecture is now greater than for any other RISC processor. The EC603e will ship during the fourth quarter, in 100, 133, 166 and 200MHz versions. Prices start at $20.69 for 100MHz parts in quantities of 10,000.

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