IBM Discloses New High-Performance PowerPC Integrated Processor

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EAST FISHKILL, NY - 29 Apr 2002: IBM today disclosed technical details on a new embedded PowerPC processor with built-in features to support more efficient packet processing for high-speed communications and storage applications.

The new chip - the IBM PowerPC 440GX - was designed by IBM using the company's ASIC methodology to combine the PowerPC 440 processor core and other key functions on a single chip. The new embedded processor, an upgrade to IBM's PowerPC 440GP, is targeted to support CPU speeds of 466 to 600MHz.

"The processing and functionality of embedded applications are increasing at a dramatic pace," said Kalpesh Gala, PowerPC Product Marketing Manager, IBM Microelectronics. "IBM's new embedded processor will provide an unmatched combination of a high performance processor core and state-of-the-art peripheral cores, specifically targeted for networked applications."

The IBM PowerPC 440GX is a superscalar processor with large 32KB instruction and data caches and includes a TCP/IP acceleration engine for two Gigabit Ethernet ports. The TCP/IP engine can speed up data packet processing while relieving the CPU of this processor-intensive workload, freeing it up to handle other application demands. In general, enabling the TCP/IP Assist engine will decrease CPU utilization by more than 50% when traffic is running through both Gigabit Ethernet ports, allowing for greater application flexibility.

The PowerPC 440GX also includes a 128-bit CoreConnect system bus enhanced to run at speeds up to 166MHz, along with a 256KB block of on-chip software-controlled SRAM memory, 64-bit 133MHz PCI-X support, a 64-bit 333 MHz Double Data Rate (DDR) memory interface, and a high level of integrated communication interfaces.

Depending on configuration, the 440GX can support up to four Fast Ethernet (10/100) interfaces, or up to two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. This allows for high connectivity and high bandwidth system design options. The Gigabit ports include large transmit and receive buffers to handle jumbo frames.

To be manufactured in IBM's advanced 0.13-micron copper process technology, the IBM 440GX is a high performance standard product designed to enable customer-specific derivatives. Based on the PowerPC BookE architecture, the PowerPC 440GX is ideally suited for networking control plane applications, RAID controllers, iSCSI processing and storage area networking equipment.

More details will be highlighted at the Embedded Processor Forum, April 29 -May 2, 2002. For more information on IBM's PowerPC embedded solutions visit