IBM Shows Off 970MP Workstation

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Aug 092007

An IBM employee has posted pictures from a 4-core 2.5GHz 970MP workstation that was on display at the recent Linux Symposium. He goes on to claim that it will be quiet and a limited production run should be out by the end of the year.

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Embedded Planet Ships Tiny 440EPx Board

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Aug 042007

There are lots of evaluation boards for lots of PowerPC processors out there, and we don’t try to keep track of them all. This one caught our eye though: a 3.5 x 2.2 x 1.5 inch 440EPx board with decent specifications. The boards are shipping now, but there isn’t a public pricetag…

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Terra Soft Announces Hack-a-thon II

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Aug 042007

Terra Soft Solutions, who hosted the original Hack-a-thon for Cell application development in January, has announced that Hack-a-thon II will be held in Austin next month, overlapping with the Power Architecture Developer Conference. Although only four days this time, the event will give programmers an opportunity to write and run code on a Sony PLAYSTATION 3 cluster.

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GCC Autovectorization and EEMBC

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Aug 042007

EDN has an in-depth technical article, co-written by EEMBC and IBM, about autovectorization in GCC (by which the compiler automatically exploits vector processing like Altivec). EEMBC (the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium) results clearly show the benefits: on 970FX, GCC with autovectorization beat Green Hills’ compiler by 153%.

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MontaVista Joins Power.org

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Jun 282007

MontaVista, a major vendor of embedded Linux distributions and tools, has joined Power.org to “enhance open standard software and hardware.”

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8572E Simulation Support in Simics

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Jun 182007

Somehow it escaped our attention that Freescale announced their 8572E processor, which is sampling now and will be available in Q2 2008. 8572E is a dual-core part using e500 cores, aimed at high-end networking applications. Anyways, there is now support for it in Virtutech’s Simics full-system simulator, which should greatly speed software development before the hardware is widely available, and also features advanced debugging facilities.

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New P.A. Semi Boards

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Jun 172007

There are a few new boards based on P.A. Semi’s 1682M board. First we have some from Mercury, who previously have used 970 processors. Mercury also had previously verified their Scientific Algorithm Library (SAL) on P.A. Semi’s core, and will be using 1682M in signal and image processing.

Next is the Themis PrPMC Module, which they have named “TPA-XMC” (and you thought 1682M didn’t roll off the tongue). Themis is going after networking, wireless infrastruction, storage, and military/aerospace with the PrPMC-XMC form factor.

Finally, an 18-core ATCA card named XCalibur1411, from Extreme Engineering. Since the 1682M doesn’t support off-chip coherence, this is more like a cluster-on-a-board rather than SMP. According to Extreme Engineering, this is the fourth P.A. Semi board they’ve designed.

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Interview with Xbox 360 Architect

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May 292007

MSDN “Channel 9” has posted an interview with Nick Baker, hardware architect for the Xbox 360. There is a fair amount of high-level discussion about the multi-core programming model, which Microsoft apparently selected even while Intel was still pushing a “bigger is better” philosophy. This brought Microsoft to IBM’s 3-core dual-thread processor used by the Xbox 360.

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SAM440EP Limited Availability

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May 292007

The SAM440ep board is now available to “selected partners”. The board contains an AMCC 440EP processor, plus onboard ATI graphics, SATA controller, USB, and most interestingly a LatticeXP FPGA device. No word yet on pricing.

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IBM POWER6 This Week

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May 202007

After years of development, IBM will be announcing POWER6 this week. The dual-core dual-thread chip supports AltiVec and will run at 4-5GHz. It will be shipped in IBM servers and blades later this year.

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