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End of Life for PowerPC OpenSUSE

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Nov 252009

OpenSUSE 11.2 for PowerPC has gone missing, and the OpenSUSE team has now acknowledged that they will not produce future versions either. They offer to support anybody who would like to volunteer for the task. One must also wonder what the implications are for PowerPC in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server…

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Xilinx Switches to ARM

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Oct 212009

Xilinx, a programmable logic vendor who has traditionally paired their FPGAs with PowerPC hard cores, has announced that they will be switching to ARM cores (and ARM’s AMBA bus) for future products. Xilinx has provided a FAQ (PDF) on the subject.

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Android Demo on PowerPC

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Oct 202009

On the same day Mentor Graphics acquired Embedded Alley, they announced they would be porting Android to PowerPC. Last week that work was demonstrated, on a Freescale MPC8536E reference board, at CELF’s Embedded Linux Conference in France. Two relevent presentations are available: “Porting Android to Power Architecture” and “Mythbusters: Android.”

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AMCC Titan-based Processors Now Sampling

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Oct 152009

Two and a half years after the Titan core was “debuted“, AppliedMicro (nee AMCC) has just announced the APM 83290, built around two Titan cores, is sampling now. In addition to the cores, AMCC seems to have put a lot of effort into the on-chip accelerators, which are “designed to offload entire protocol level tasks,” and are “fully software programmable.”

One more major feature is the process technology: 83290 is available in 90nm bulk CMOS, which is supposed to make it less expensive than equivalent-speed competitors (i.e. Freescale). Perhaps not coincidenally, AppliedMicro recently announced a collaboration with TSMC…

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Tentative Market Research for Another PowerPC Motherboard

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Sep 282009

Konstantinos Margaritis, a longtime PowerPC software developer, has posted to just about every mailing list and web forum somehow connected to open source on PowerPC, asking for feedback about designing a new PowerPC motherboard. He lists three Freescale options for the processor, and asks for email from all interested parties. He’s posted the current results to a web page.

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Freescale Announces More QorIQ

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Sep 282009

Freescale has announced two more QorIQ (“core IQ”) processors: the P4040 and P0122. Based on the e500mc core, the P4040 is the quad-core version of the eight-core P4080, and at 15W it apparently consumes about half the power. P4040 is supposed to begin sampling this year, with the P1022 sampling in early 2010.

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IBM Announces PowerPC 476FP Processor

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Sep 142009

IBM has announced the 476FP core as “industry’s highest performance, highest throughput” system-on-chip processor. The press release still quotes Dhrystone numbers, despite the well-understood problems with that benchmark. 476FP is a collaboration with LSI, who designed the L2 cache, dissipates 1.6W at 1.5GHz, and will be built with 45nm SOI technology. Hard core production, and a synthesizable version, will be available in 4Q 2010.

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Freescale's 8-core P4080 Sampling

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Aug 262009

When Freescale announced the P4080 processor last June, they said it would being sampling in “mid 2009”. It’s now Aug 2009, and they appear to have met that target. The P4080 contains eight e500mc cores, ten ethernet controllers, and, as you may have guessed, is targeted at communications and networking applications. To ease multicore software development, Freescale has emphasized simulation, and added debugging and partitioning features to the processor.

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POWER7 Will Be Fast

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Aug 242009

The Hot Chips conference is this week, and while various semiconductor companies will unveil new processors, IBM’s POWER7 is expected to be the fastest. It will be 45nm, lots of cache, 4 threads per core, and up to 8 cores on a die. Memory bandwidth will exceed POWER6’s 300GB/s. This is expected to be faster than AMD’s, Sun’s, and Intel’s contemporary offerings.

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New PlayStation 3 Drops Linux Support

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Aug 232009

The new PlayStation 3 (“Slim”) has dropped support for Linux as a second OS. In an interview, a Sony executive claimed they simply wanted to “standardize our OS.” That may have been the last mass-market Linux-capable PowerPC system available.

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