At the Linley Tech Processor Conference last month, Freescale announced they would be integrating Altivec into its QorIQ family of processors. This is remarkable because the QorIQ family exclusively consists of processors built around the e500 core, which lacks the Altivec capabilities of the older e600 core. The Linley Group and military/aerospace industry commentators note that the absent Altivec roadmap has ceded customers to x86 processors, so could be a good move for Freescale.

However, it’s not clear how Freescale will actually deliver Altivec. They recently announced the 64-bit e5500 core without mention of it, and one has to wonder when a future Altivec-enabled implementation of e500 or e5500 might be available, or if Freescale will simply build another e600 processor and brand it “QorIQ”. Freescale’s press release is conspicuously missing information on product roadmaps and availability.

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