PMC-Sierra Unveils SoC-based 64-bit MIPS Microprocessor Architecture

5/18/2004 - At the Embedded Processor Forum, PMC-Sierra, Inc. (Nasdaq:PMCS - News) announced the first System-on-Chip (SoC) based on its new system interconnect which offers an unprecedented level of feature integration coupled with industry-leading microprocessor performance. The Fast Device Bus(TM) interconnect was defined to fully leverage the performance of PMC-Sierra's 1GHz E9000(TM) microprocessor and supports an extensive set of high-throughput peripherals such as a 200 MHz 64-bit DDR SDRAM controller, a 600 MHz HyperTransport(TM) interface, as well as two Gigabit Ethernet MACs, and dual PCI interfaces. The RM9150(TM) microprocessor is targeted at networking, storage, industrial control, printer, advanced consumer and other high volume applications.

The RM9150's E9000 microprocessor and on-chip peripherals are linked to the Fast Device Bus through a common design interface, PMC-Sierra's Generic Device Interface (GDI). The GDI is a simple, easy-to-design-to interface for new or existing Intellectual Property (IP) blocks to support SoC design flows for standard products, customer specific products and ASICs. GDI is scalable and interconnect independent, in that any IP designed with a GDI is re-usable, and can support either bus or switch architectures. In addition, designing all on-chip peripherals with a GDI greatly reduces the design verification time required and enables seamless IP block integration for better performance and faster time-to-market.

"The RM9150 microprocessor is the first in a family of products designed using PMC-Sierra's Fast Device Bus-based SoC platform," said John Monson, vice president of marketing, Microprocessor Products Division at PMC-Sierra. "With this new design methodology, we can now quickly and easily integrate our scalable microprocessors with peripherals and system I/O selected from PMC-Sierra's broad portfolio of IP technology as well as from customer and industry IP."

About the RM9150 Microprocessor
The RM9150 device is a highly integrated, feature-rich SoC and is the third product to use PMC-Sierra's proven E9000 64-bit MIPS® microprocessor core. The high-performance E9000 microprocessor can scale from 600 MHz to 1 GHz operating frequencies and supports 256 KB of low-latency L2 cache tightly coupled to the microprocessor. This enables the RM9150 microprocessor to maintain compatibility with and leverage a comprehensive offering of optimized compilers, operating systems and third party debug tools support that are currently available for the RM9000x2(TM) and RM9000x2GL(TM) product families.

The RM9150 device feature set includes a 64-bit 200 MHz SDRAM controller capable of supporting both DDR I and DDR II memories. Also included are two 10/100/1000 Ethernet controllers, a 600 MHz DDR HyperTransport interface, a dual 32-bit, 66 MHz PCI controllers, a 4-channel DMA controller, a Local Bus controller for glueless support of Flash, Compact Flash, PCMCIA, and external USB devices, dual asynchronous receiver/transmitter (DUART), 32 KB of scratch memory and 64 GPIO pins. This broad range of system peripherals makes it ideal for embedded control processing applications such as Ethernet routers and switches, line cards, network attached storage, industrial control, high-end laser printers, imaging and high-end consumer applications that require multiple high-speed interconnects and single-chip integration.

The RM9150 microprocessor provides powerful processing power while also enabling low system Bill-of-Materials (BOM) costs, compact board space and low power dissipation. PMC-Sierra's MIPS-based SoC architecture is designed to be software compatible with our microprocessors while giving customers an avenue to increase integration and lower costs as systems enter high volume production.

Pricing, Availability and Customer Support
Initial samples of the RM9150 device are planned for Q3, 2004 with volume pricing estimated at $85 for 600 MHz devices. The RM9150 device is fabricated in 130 nm CMOS process and is available in an 896-pin Flip Chip BGA package.

About PMC-Sierra's RM9000 Family of MIPS-based Microprocessors
PMC-Sierra's RM9000 family of highly integrated 64-bit MIPS-based dual- and single-core microprocessors provide the highest levels of processing power and peripheral I/O integration, designed for networking, storage, industrial control, color laser printers and high-end consumer applications. For more information on the RM9150, RM9000x1(TM), RM9000x2 devices and RM9000x1GL(TM) and RM9000x2GL families including comprehensive data sheets and evaluation boards, visit

About PMC-Sierra
PMC-Sierra(TM) is a leading provider of high-speed broadband communications and storage semiconductors and MIPS-based(TM) microprocessors for Enterprise, Access, Metro Optical Transport, Storage Area Networking and Wireless network equipment. The company offers worldwide technical and sales support, including a network of offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The company is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the PMCS symbol and is included in the S&P 500 Index, which consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, and industry group representation. For more information, visit

E9000, Fast Device Bus, PMC, PMCS, PMC-Sierra, RM9000x1, RM9000x1GL, RM9000x2, RM9000x2GL, RM9150 and Thinking you can build on are trademarks of PMC-Sierra, Inc.

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