2/17/2003 - The IBM PowerPC 440GX embedded processor has received the fourth annual Analysts' Choice Award for best high-performance embedded processor of 2002 by Cahners In-Stat/MDR (MicroDesign Resources), a well-known industry consulting firm and publisher of The Microprocessor Report.
The Analysts' Choice Awards recognize excellence in semiconductor technology innovation, design and implementation. The IBM PowerPC 440GX was cited for delivering a well-rounded set of features "at a price that makes it attractive for a wide range of high-volume applications."
In response to growing customer interest in the use of IBM PowerPC technology in a variety of computing, communications and consumer electronic applications, IBM today also announced a set of licensing and support initiatives to help make the technology more readily available and adaptable.
"This award is yet another industry acknowledgement of the strength and momentum of the IBM PowerPC processor," said Lisa Su, director of PowerPC and Emerging Products, IBM Microelectronics. "In addition to our technological focus on leading-edge performance and low power, we are providing flexibility and support for our customers and partners through our licensing options. The attributes of the IBM PowerPC processor are widely recognized; now they can be more widely applied."
IBM has adapted the PowerPC processor to a wide range of applications, while continually enhancing it with the latest IBM chip-manufacturing technologies and design innovations for improved performance, function and power consumption. The IBM PowerPC 440GX processor, for example, is a highly integrated device that delivers up to 667 MHz and executes up to two instructions per cycle. It offers the versatility and bandwidth required for today's demanding networking and storage applications.
"The integration of dual Gigabit Ethernet and the requirement for TCP/IP off-load acceleration made IBM's PowerPC 440GX the only choice to extend our PMC product family," said Saeed Karamooz, president and CEO, RAMiX Inc., which designs and manufactures embedded switches, server blades and networking, storage I/O and memory solutions. "IBM's decision to openly license PowerPC technology will further aid in the adoption of the architecture. This is a smart move on IBM's part, capitalizing on the industry's investment in PowerPC technology."
These newly-announced licensing and support initiatives are designed to expand access to the benefits of the technology to a broader set of customers and applications. Important to potential licensees of any processor, is the availability of design tools, design services and manufacturing resources that support the technology, so that products based on it can be brought to market quickly and efficiently.
Under an IBM agreement with Synopsys, Synopsys is making the high-performance PowerPC core synthesizable, and is enabling a complete flow through its industry-standard design tools. Starting in second quarter 2003, Synopsys plans to provide its DesignWare Library licensees access to simulation and timing models free of charge through the DesignWare Star IP Program. Synopsys plans to deliver and support the synthesizable core for designers who have licensed the core from IBM.
"The DesignWare Star IP relationship between IBM and Synopsys will connect the proven PowerPC architecture to the rich set of DesignWare IP and make it available to a much broader set of customers and applications," said Joachim Kunkel, vice president of marketing, Synopsys IP and Design Services Group. "Customers can either harden and integrate the PowerPC core themselves with support from Synopsys, or they can engage Synopsys' Professional Services to assist them in any part of the design or hardening process."
Similarly, IBM has reached an agreement with Cadence under which Cadence will incorporate PowerPC processor into its design services activity. This agreement brings together the key design chain relationships to enable design teams to achieve successful silicon with lower risk. As part of this collaboration, Cadence is mapping the PowerPC processor to foundry technologies, so that designs can be created for manufacture in both IBM and outside fabs.
"The PowerPC collaboration is the next in a series of strategic arrangements between Cadence and IBM to simplify the chip design process for joint customers and bring 90 and 65nm design chain solutions to market," said Penny Herscher, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Cadence. "The extensive experience Cadence has with IBM's process technology, design methodology and the PowerPC architecture made this collaboration a natural fit. Cadence is pleased to provide its leading design software and services to assist Cadence and IBM customers with expanded adoption of the PowerPC processor."
The open PowerPC licensing program will initially offer synthesizable and hardened IBM PowerPC 4xx cores targeted to IBM foundry and other leading foundries worldwide. The comprehensive core license offering provides licensees fast time to market for PowerPC based SoC. Included in the core license is IBM's industry standard CoreConnect bus architecture and additional peripherals, such as a memory controller and PCI bridge. In addition, IBM is developing a CoreConnect to AMBA bridge, which will enable the integration of not only the IP developed by the 600+ CoreConnect licensees, but also AMBA-based IP.
About the IBM PowerPC Processor
The IBM PowerPC processor is a proven technology, with versions already supporting a multitude of desktop, server, communications and consumer electronics applications, and has broad support among the software development community. IBM is expanding PowerPC technology licensing to meet growing demand for a processor that can be readily adapted to drive the variety of consumer electronics products that are emerging in the industry. Products like cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and game systems are overtaking the PC as the basis for communications, entertainment and information access, and their individual requirements demand more than any one, off-the-shelf processor can provide.
About IBM Microelectronics
IBM Microelectronics is a key contributor to IBM's role as the world's premier information technology supplier. It develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art semiconductor and interconnect technologies, products and services. IBM is a recognized innovator in the chip industry, having been first with advances like more power-efficient copper wiring in place of aluminum, faster silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and silicon germanium transistors, and improved low-k dielectric insulation between chip wires. These and other innovations have contributed to IBM's standing as the number one U.S. patent holder for 10 consecutive years. IBM Microelectronics activities are focused in three major areas: custom application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips, PowerPC-based standard chip products, and high-tech foundry services. Its superior integrated solutions can be found in many of the world's best-known electronic brands. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at: http://www.ibm.com/chips.
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