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Freescale Licenses e200 core to IPextreme

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Apr 052007

Freescale has issued a general license for its low-end e200 core to IPextreme, apparently in an effort to compete with ARM9. There are actually a few core variants, ranging from 80 to 150 MHz, and different in features like VLE (Variable Length Encoding, i.e. 16-bit instructions) and SPE (Signal Processing Engine vector instructions) components. It looks like IPextreme will be building custom SoCs (System on a Chip) around the e200. More information is available from Freescale and IPextreme.

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Upcoming Power.org Events

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Mar 272007

There are several upcoming Power.org events:

  • Power.org will have a booth at the Embedded Systems Conference next week in San Jose, and will also host a free dinner (registration required).
  • There will be a Software Summit in Austin on 19 April, in which problems with software development for PowerPC will be discussed. Free to attend, and remote participation is possible, but registration is required.
  • There will be a Developer Conference, also in Austin, on 24-25 September. It will include technical sessions, hands-on labs, engaging keynotes, and vendor demos. A call for papers has been published. This event costs money to attend.

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PlayStation 3 Folding Lots of Proteins

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Mar 232007

There are now tens of thousands of PlayStation 3s participating in the Folding@home distributed number-crunching project. Yesterday 10,000 PS3s contributed 66% more FLOPS (floating point operations per second) than 160,000 Windows PCs. Today the number of PS3 clients has doubled.

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PowerPC 750CL First to Use Energy/Performance Benchmark

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Mar 172007

It looks like IBM’s 750CL is the first processor to report scores for a new energy benchmark (unfortunately we can’t say “power” because of an unfortunate marketing decision). The Energy Bench benchmark measures energy use while running processor-intensive performance benchmarks, and is part of EEMBC’s (pronounced “embassy”) benchmark suite, which is focused for embedded processors.

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QEMU Webinar

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Mar 172007

TimeSys is hosting a “webinar” (web-based seminar) on using the popular QEMU binary translator for PowerPC and ARM development, promising to run target code directly on your x86 workstation or even eliminate cross-compiling. Participation in the webinar is free, but registration is required.

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Cell Challenge

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Feb 282007

IBM is running a contest for innovative Cell applications programming. The contest is valid in the US, Canada, and Brazil, has some nice prizes, and ends on 5 July 2007.

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PA Semi and Mercury

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Feb 282007

Mercury Computer Systems, which makes various Cell- and 970-based servers and blades, has announced that they’re one of PA Semi’s “alpha customers” for the new 1682M dual-core PWRficient processor. The press release also hints that we will see a quad-core PWRficient processor in the future, after a single-core implementation.

Additionally, Mercury has developed a Scientific Algorithm Library of optimized routines for vector processing, matrix operations, and other math-intensive operations. Mercury is making this library available to PA Semi, and according to their test suite it “just worked” on the 1682M with no modifications necessary.

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A PlayStation 3 Review

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Feb 272007

A weblog at EDN has some thoughts and review of Linux on the PlayStation 3. Nothing earth-shattering, but some interesting real-user observations.

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Penguinppc.org Catches Up With The Times

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Feb 272007

Years late, penguinppc.org now offers an RSS feed so you can poll our occasional news posts without expending any effort at all. The impetus was an insistent Josh Boyer, and Jon Tollefson who sent in some sample code. Thank them if you see them around. Enjoy, and comments to the webmaster (who knows almost nothing about RSS) are appreciated.

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Ubuntu Drops Official PowerPC Support

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Feb 152007

The Ubuntu Technical Board announced that they will be dropping their PowerPC distribution starting with version 7.04 (aka “Feisty Fawn”). They will continue to maintain current releases, including the 6.06 “Long Term Support” (LTS) which will be maintained until 2011.

PowerPC will become an “unofficial” Ubuntu distribution, which means the company will continue to distribute packages and ISO images as available, but will not delay releases for PowerPC issues and will devote fewer corporate resources to the architecture. More discussion took place on the Ubuntu wiki.

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