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IBM is rolling out new PowerPC processors aimed at the embedded space that are designed to improve performance while consuming less power than their counterparts.

The new chips illustrate IBM’s commitment to building processors that do not rely solely on speed bumps for performance improvements, but also are energy-efficient, said Ron Martino, director of Power architecture solutions for IBM’s Technology Collaboration Solutions unit, in East Fishkill, N.Y.

“It’s becoming a very big issue,” Martino said, referring to power consumption and leakage in chips. By introducing these low-power processors, IBM is “giving the customer choice,” he said.

Click here to read about multicore PowerPC chips.

IBM on Oct. 3 rolled out two new single-core PowerPC chips, the 750CL, which is aimed at 32-bit workloads, and the 970GX, a follow to the 970FX, which supports both 32- and 64-bit applications.

The 750CL is more energy-efficient than its predecessors, Martino said. The current 750CX and 750GX are in the range of 10 to 14 milliwatts per megahertz, he said, while the 750CL ranges between 3 and 7 milliwatts per megahertz. It’s aimed at such areas as networking, storage and multimedia.

The 970GX offers a 1MB Level 2 cache—twice the size of the 970FX—runs between 1.2GHz and 2.5GHz, and also targets communications and storage workloads, as well as multimedia and graphics-based devices.

The 750CL is sampling now, while the 970GX is available immediately.

IBM also unveiled the CPC965 companion chip for the 970 series, which is designed to offer I/O connectivity while consuming less power than other bridge chips. Samples for the companion chip will ship in March 2007.

IBM also introduced the 460 core series, including the 460s synthesizable core, which allows designers to select the size of the L1 and L2 cache and processor local bus depending on what’s needed for their work.

All three cores—including the 464FH H90 and 464 H90—have low-power capability, which means they offer essentially better performance than their predecessors, with better energy efficiency and support for a wide range of embedded applications.

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