Mercury Offers 3U dual-7448 cPCI Product

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May 172006

Mercury Computer Systems, the folks who brought you the 970FX-based XR9 and a few Cell products, is now offering a 3U PowerPC Compact PCI single-board computer (SBC). The system offers 1GB ECC memory, two 1.4GHz Freescale 7448 processors, and some IO for US$6000. Board support packages (BSPs) for Linux and VxWorks are available.

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P.A. Semi Investment, 16-core chip, and Fab

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May 172006

The Register, the most reputable source of online news, reports that P.A. Semi recently raised US$50 million in investments. If you’ll recall, P.A. Semi is the startup that announced last year that they would be producing a 2-core 2GHz 7-watt PowerPC processor. Now they reportedly have designed a 16-core chip as well, and like Sun Microsystems may be using Texas Instruments as their fab (fabrication plant).

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Making of the Xbox 360

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May 012006

There is an interesting account of the making of the Xbox 360, including a look at Microsoft’s relationship with ATI and what drove them to IBM PowerPC for their CPU.

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Genesi's Open Server Workstation and "MyPowerPC"

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Apr 252006

Genesi has revealed more details on the 970MP system they’re developing, the Open Server Workstation (OSW). They claim the motherboard will be 8 layers, hold two 970MPs (four cores), will have 3D graphics support, and they’re targeting US$1500 for a complete system. Genesi also expects to “generate decent unit sales for this item during 2006”. That sounds like “will ship in 2006”, with enough wiggle room so that they just have to sell some (pre-orders?).

Genesi has also announced MyPowerPC, which seems to be a Gentoo build farm that only builds for Genesi systems.

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Freescale Roadtrip

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Apr 242006

Freescale is going on a roadtrip to show off its shiny new mini-ITX 8349E reference platform, part of its “PowerQUICC Pro II” brand. The seminars will be free to embedded developers, and will run in 15 cities across the US.

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Freescale mini-ITX Reference Board

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Apr 202006

Freescale recently introduced a mini-ITX reference board for the 8349E processor. The board is intended to be for network-attached storage (NAS) and media server applications, and comes with lots of USB ports, serial, SATA, and PCI expansion slots. The SDK, also used for Buffalo’s PowerPC-based TeraStation, was developed by Mediabolic. Freescale claims that the reference board and schematics are available now, though they aren’t listed on freescale.com.

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PowerPC Optimizations for GNU C Library

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Apr 172006

IBM developer Steve Munroe has started a project to implement processor-specific optimizations for the GNU C Library (glibc). From his announcement: “The implementation in glibc mainline leaves a lot of performance on the table because that source must be safe and reasonable to run on any processor for that architecture.” He currently has optimizations for memcpy, memcmp, and memset on POWER4 and POWER5, with impressive results. Check it out and contribute code for your favorite PowerPC!

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Profiling on the POWER5

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Apr 162006

IBM developerWorks has a new article up describing the complexity of profiling on the POWER5 processor. “At any clock cycle, you have to handle a typical situation of five instructions/group, 20 groups past dispatch, 32 outstanding loads, 16 outstanding misses, two independent threads, and the decoupled nest/core.” The author discusses oprofile on Linux, curiously providing a ksh script to run it… but then all is made clear as they spend most of the article discussing AIX tools.

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KuroBox Resuscitated?

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Apr 092006

After over a year of neglect by Buffalo Technology, the KuroBox (and Buffalo’s Revolution brand) is under new management, and his name is John Causey. The KuroBox, an embedded system running Linux on the PowerPC 8241, is now available for US$109, and the KuroBox HG for US$179. Not only that, there is an interesting bounty posted: port U-boot to the Kuro and win a 1TB TeraStation Pro. Hackers with JTAG, have at it…

Update: the Kuro Standard has just been discontinued, and the Kuro HG is now US$149.

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Power.org-related News

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Apr 072006

Power.org made a variety of announcements today, including:
Mercury Computer Systems announced a 1U dual-Cell server.
IBM announced there will be dual-core 970MP processors that run at 25 watts, and the CPC945 northbridge at 12 watts.
AMCC, which bought IBM’s 400-series embedded PowerPC line several years ago, has finally joined Power.org.

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