Applied Micro Circuits Corp. today unveiled its high-performance PowerPC 440SPe processor

October 5, 2004

3 Min Read

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- At the Fall Microprocessor Forum, Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) (NASDAQ: AMCC - News) today unveiled its high performance PowerPC® 440SPe processor. Based on the PowerPC 440 superscalar core, the PowerPC 440SPe offers higher bandwidth, PCI Express based connectivity and design flexibility for demanding embedded storage and networking applications.

The first processor to offer three independent PCI Express interfaces and one PCI-X version 2.0 interface, AMCC's PowerPC 440SPe is ideally suited for RAID controllers and storage area networking (SAN) equipment. The 440SPe supports one 8-lane PCI Express upstream interface and two 4-lane downstream interfaces. In addition, the 440SPe supports a 64-bit PCI-X interface, which operates at double data rate (DDR266), with a peak bandwidth of 2.13GBps. The PCI Express and PCI-X interfaces can function as an opaque PCI Express to PCI Express or PCI Express to PCI-X bridge, allowing data to be transferred directly between these buses. The processor's CoreConnect(TM) 128-bit Processor Local Bus (PLB) is implemented with a two-way crossbar architecture, each segment has separate 128-bit read and write data buses that may operate concurrently, providing up to 10.4GBps of total on-chip bandwidth at 166MHz.

"By announcing a new PowerPC chip less than six months after acquiring a significant portfolio of PowerPC intellectual property from IBM, AMCC is demonstrating its serious intent to be a major PowerPC supplier alongside IBM and Freescale," said Tom R. Halfhill, senior analyst for In-Stat/MDR's Microprocessor Report. "In addition, the new PowerPC440SPe is important in its own right, bringing the latest PCI Express interfaces to networking I/O and storage applications."

The PowerPC 440SPe also offers an XOR accelerator, performing functions critical for storage applications, such as parity generation and check functions to safeguard against data corruption. I/O processing and other applications using multiple processors can also benefit from the integrated messaging unit, designed to meet I20 specifications. The 440SPe incorporates an enhanced DDR memory controller that supports DDR I 166/333 and DDR II 333/667 memory devices. The 256KB on-chip SRAM can be configured to enhance performance either as an L2 cache or as a memory-mapped SRAM for low-latency access, ideal for storing data packets, critical code segments, Ethernet or DMA descriptors, or other application-specific data.

The PowerPC 440SPe also integrates an extensive set of peripherals including a gigabit Ethernet MAC (GENET), two IIC controllers, a host of GPIO pins and three UARTs that support various functions in user applications.

"We are pleased to bring the performance of our storage solutions and operating system technology to the next generation of POWER embedded devices such as, AMCC's PowerPC 440SPe," said Jim Schrand, vice president of marketing, Wasabi Systems. "We are especially excited about the PowerPC 440SPe as it breaks new ground by offering customers a remarkable level of bandwidth and connectivity to meet the requirements of tomorrow's demanding applications."

"The feature rich PowerPC 440SPe is a valuable addition to AMCC's high performance PowerPC 440 core, continuing its legacy of exceptional support for compute-intensive applications. We are excited that MontaVista Software will continue to enable developers selecting Linux as the preferred OS for optimizing applications running on PowerPC 440 family of devices," commented Joe Samagond, director of corporate marketing, MontaVista Software.

Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC)

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