EFIKA Price Cut

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May 202007

The price of Genesi’s EFIKA motherboard, featuring a PowerPC 5200B, has been cut from US$199 to US$99. The price of the “EFIKA Open Client”, which includes a case and hardware options, remains unchanged.

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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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IBM Licenses 405 and 440 to VeriSilicon

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May 092007

IBM has licensed 405 and 440 cores to VeriSilicon, a fabless processor design company that appears to be based in Shanghai. VeriSilicon will provide silicon manufacturers with silicon design, SoC (system-on-a-chip) peripherials, etc. They already have licenses for ARM and ZSP processors.

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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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