IBM Announces Low-Power Highly Integrated PowerPC Processor For Networking Applications

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EAST FISHKILL, N.Y. - 22 Oct 2002: IBM today announced a new low-power, low-cost, highly integrated embedded PowerPC processor for wireless local area network (LAN) access points and other networking applications.

The new chip, the PowerPC 405EP, was designed by IBM using the company's ASIC methodology to combine the PowerPC 405 processor core and other key functions into on a single system-on-chip design. The chip is designed to support CPU speeds of 133, 200 and 266MHz and consumes only one Watt of power at 200MHz.

In addition to wireless LAN access points, the features of the PowerPC 405EP make it ideal for other edge-of-network applications such as DSL routers and cable modems.

"The PowerPC 405EP offers customers excellent performance for the price," said Lisa Su, director, PowerPC and emerging products, IBM Microelectronics. "This is the latest example of how IBM is using its custom chip capabilities to provide a high degree of integration in a standard product format. The versatility of the PowerPC allows it to be adapted to many applications, while retaining software compatibility through a consistent underlying architecture."

The IBM PowerPC 405EP chip features dual 10/100 ethernet connectivity as part of the base chip design. This can help designers of 802.11a/b wireless access points to save on system costs since they do not need to add off-chip ethernet connections to their designs. The PowerPC 405EP also incorporates a PCI interface, a SDRAM controller, a 64-bit on-chip CoreConnect bus and other on-chip peripheral support. The PowerPC 405EP is based on IBM's 0.18-micron SA-27e copper process technology.

IBM plans to sample the PowerPC 405EP chip this month at 133MHz, 200MHz and 266MHz. The PowerPC 405EP 133MHz processor is priced at an estimated $17 each in volumes of 10,000. Production quantities of all three speeds are planned for November.