Momentum Debuts Embedded System Processor Board with PowerPC 970FX

3/1/2004 - Momentum Computer, an innovative developer specializing in quick turnaround of high-performance board-level solutions has been singled out by IBM to provide the Evaluation Platform for IBM’s newest PowerPC offering, the 64-bit 970FX processor. Momentum’s ATX-style motherboard, designed for and in conjunction with IBM Microelectronics, will provide developers with a unique insight to the performance and functionality of these new processors.

As part of the 970FX Evaluation Platform Program, Momentum will provide support, documentation and downloads, as well as on-line forums in addition to the board itself. This will include initial demonstration of capabilities as well as provision for schematics, gerbers and open-source code.

Available in two different packages, Momentum will offer the evaluation platform as either:

Both configurations include boot images, scripts and busybox file system pre-burned into the M-Systems' DiskOnChip®, the Design Package CD and ongoing access to Momentum’s update server with the latest soft-copy version of all information from the 970FX evaluation package. The Design Package CD includes schematics in both Orcad 9.2.3 and PDF formats, bills of material, gerber files, monitor source code, startup code, application notes and assembly drawings.

“We are honored that IBM selected Momentum to provide the Evaluation Platform for this exciting new chip and look forward to working with the embedded development community. It will be fascinating to watch the applications that will result now that 64-bit computing is available for embedded applications. In addition to the reference design program, we plan to leverage our efforts to offer standard products based on the 970FX chip in the coming months,” observed Momentum’s president, Harry White.

With power consumption as low as 12.3W at 1.4GHz, the 970FX processor (referred to as the 90-nm Power PC G5 by Apple Computer in their Xserve G5 systems) is the first to bring high performance computing to the embedded market. Based on IBM’s award-winning POWER4TM architecture, the 970FX processor achieves high system performance with a dual-channel front-side processor bus of 1GHz and very fast hyper-transport interconnections. The device gives developers 64-bit computing power while assuring legacy support by running 32-bit applications natively. The new processor’s dual independent buses, ability to address vast amounts of memory and superscalar execution core enable processing of hundreds of instructions in parallel. These characteristics will provide performance advantages for data intensive applications in High Performance Computing markets such as bioinformatics, high-precision simulation and any applications incorporating enhanced multimedia, graphics and data movement or requiring especially high bandwidth.

Because Momentum has developed and built custom board-level computers for demanding markets including data/telecommunications, military and aerospace, they have a unique collection of building blocks that can be used to satisfy similar applications with decreased time to market.

With the new 64-bit computing capabilities offered by the 970FX and associated components, Momentum’s engineering team can analyze customers’ specific applications and often suggest solutions that will meet their requirements with minimal development time and significantly lower cost than a fully custom development. Momentum’s “building blocks” include platforms with a number of different configurations and processors in addition to the PowerPC® family, including: Pentium®, MIPS, UltraSparc® , CompactPCI®, PICMG 2.16®, VMETM, PMCPr, ATX™ and Advanced TCATM.

Available in mid-March, pricing for the 970FX Evaluation Platform Packages starts at $4500 for the development net-boot system and $6000 for the full system with drives and case. For more information about the 970FX Evaluation Program, call 760/431-8663 or visit the web site at

For additional details on Momentum’s single-board computers or about its custom board design services, call 760/431-8663 or visit them at

About Momentum Computer
Momentum Computer was founded by Harry L. White and a team of engineers to fill an important need in the embedded computer market — quick turnaround and delivery of custom processor and high-performance I/O boards. Their standard and custom product offerings include single-board computers based on UltraSparc, MIPS, Intel and PowerPC processors in CompactPCI, VME, ATX and PMC form factors. Momentum’s high level of engineering expertise and efficient processes result in a custom design cycle that provides system designers with the fastest possible time to production.

IBM and PowerPC are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. Pentium is a registered trademark of Intel.

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