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Cool, quiet home entertainment enabled by next-generation PowerPC® processors from Freescale

ORLANDO, Fla. (Freescale Technology Forum) – This week, Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL, FSL.B) is showcasing its latest high-performance PowerPC® processor, MPC7448, which represents the most significant update to the MPC74xx family of processors to date.

The flexible MPC7448 processor brings new possibilities to pervasive computing applications by offering extensive compute efficiency combined with world-class power management. The MPC7448 also optimally addresses embedded networking applications, which are the bedrock of the PowerPC processor market.

“Developers of solutions for home entertainment, gaming, Web applications, and self-service kiosks of all kinds need economical and flexible ways to build high-performance systems,” said David Perkins, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Networking and Computing Systems Group. “The MPC7448 PowerPC processor offers exceptional performance per watt for these compute-intensive applications, and by leveraging Linux® OS in these applications, developers get maximum design flexibility.”

The MPC7448 processor, based on Freescale’s e600 PowerPC core, is expected to offer speeds from 600 MHz to 1.7 GHz with the system bus running up to 200 MHz. The MPC7448 is the first product in the MPC74xx family to use Freescale’s 90 nanometer (nm) silicon-on-insulator (SOI) CMOS process, which significantly increases clock and bus speeds with substantial power reductions. The cool MPC7448 offers GHz-class performance at less than 10 Watts – highly advantageous for systems that require fanless operation. The MPC7448 power management features also include nap and sleep modes and introduce dynamic frequency switching that permits software to reduce power “on the fly.”

“Freescale’s new MPC7448 continues a tradition of steadily increasing the performance of PowerPC-based embedded processors while effectively managing power consumption,” said Tom R. Halfhill, a senior analyst at In-Stat’s Microprocessor Report. “With its improved AltiVec throughput, 1MB L2 cache, and low-power characteristics, the MPC7448 lends itself to new applications beyond its traditional computing and networking markets.”

The e600 PowerPC core includes AltiVec™ technology, a single instruction multiple data (SIMD) engine well known for its ability to accelerate networking applications, such as security algorithms, network stack processing, routing and more. AltiVec technology is ideal for 2D and 3D graphics associated with video playback and recording, static imaging, gaming, Web browsing and e-commerce, including the implementation of CODEC (compression/decompression) algorithms.

Hopen Software, a China-based company creating software for home media devices, sees great opportunity in developing software for the PowerPC architecture. “The MPC7448 PowerPC processor offers a compelling performance-to-power ratio making it an excellent choice for system implementations for the home entertainment market,” said Ding Wei, COO of Hopen Ltd. “Additionally, the AltiVec engine allows Hopen to provide support for a wide range of CODECs and support the evolving standards in the digital media space, while achieving fast time to market.”

Development Resources

To help enable faster development of pervasive computing and networking applications on the MPC7448, Freescale is offering the High Performance Computing (HPC) II platform. This general-purpose reference design integrates the MPC7448 processor with Tundra’s Tsi108 system controller to provide a high-performance, low-power development environment.

“Tundra applauds the addition of the MPC7448 to Freescale’s 74xx line of high-performance PowerPC processors,” says Jonathan Morris, Director of Product Management of PowerPC. “The Tundra Tsi108 and Tsi108A host bridges combined with the MPC7448 provide designers with unprecedented system performance without sacrificing power. For over a decade, our companies have focused on progressive investment in complementary roadmaps for our embedded networking customers and for pervasive computing applications such as printers and servers.”

The HPC II platform is sampling now and is being demonstrated at Freescale Technology Forum through June 23. HPC II hardware design files are available today with general platform availability planned for October 2005.

EEMBC® (Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium) certified performance benchmark scores for MPC7448 are available now at These scores reflect the continual advancement of performance for Freescale’s high-performance PowerPC products in all benchmark categories, including significant performance improvements in TCP/IP and digital entertainment.

Comprising more than 69 benchmark tests, EEMBC’s Digital Entertainment benchmark (DENbench™) suite gives developers a sophisticated set of tools for evaluating the performance of embedded processors in their multimedia systems. The MPC7448 scored 350.8 in the DENbench suite “out-of-the-box,” and with AltiVec engine optimization, the MPC7448 scored 762.0 – more than doubling the application performance. All EEMBC scores were achieved on a 1.7 GHz MPC7448 processor in the HPC II platform using the Green Hills compiler version 4.02.

The PowerPC architecture has broad software application support across the computing, networking, and automotive markets, with examples ranging from LAMP (Linux, Apache Web server, MySQL, PHP/Perl) solution stack for dynamic Web sites to software for automotive telematics and in-vehicle communications. Freescale maintains strong alliances with leading software vendors to help ensure that software – from real-time operating systems to leading tools to applications – is available when the processor is available.

Linux OS offerings for MPC7448 span a full range of technologies from symmetric multiprocessing and enterprise through high availability, including Carrier Grade Linux, combined with tools for application development and debugging, such as CodeWarrior™ from Freescale. The MPC7448 is supported by well-known embedded Linux OS providers such as MontaVista, TimeSys and Wind River. In addition, Freescale cooperates with Linux developers from the open source community to enable support for new PowerPC platforms.

“Wind River continues to optimize solutions, such as Wind River Platform for Network Equipment on Freescale’s PowerPC family, to provide telecom device manufacturers with a tightly integrated and complete device development solution,” said John Fanelli, vice president of product planning and management, Wind River. “Wind River is committed to a strong relationship with Freescale to align our joint product roadmaps and expand platform support including Linux, VxWorks and Workbench, to offer our joint customers a powerful, standards-based DSO solution that addresses the full lifecycle of their device software development needs.”

Compatibility: Dual Core PowerPC Processor and Beyond

The MPC7448 is a seamless step up in performance that demonstrates Freescale’s continued commitment to developing compatible high-performance PowerPC processors for the embedded market. It is also a stepping stone to the MPC8641D dual-core processor based on the same e600 PowerPC core.

The MPC7448 and MPC8641D share many architectural similarities that make them highly compatible, including support for asymmetric and symmetric multiprocessing, identical 32KB L1 cache and 1MB L2 cache, and identical AltiVec technology attributes and performance. The same customer application binary code can run on the MPC7448 and MPC8641D. Freescale’s high-performance PowerPC product roadmap will continue to see innovations in performance per watt and multi-processing architectures.

Lunes, 20 Junio, 2005 - 07:04
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