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Processor packs power-performance punch

Posted: 17 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:low-power dual core processor? Power Architecture cores? Linux board? vector processing?

Freescale Semiconductor has introduced the MPC8640D, a lower cost, lower power version of the MPC8641D dual core processor. The device is available in single and dual core versions and is suitable for networking, telecom, pervasive computing, aerospace and defense applications.

The MPC8640D enables customers to utilize high performance e600 Power Architecture cores and AltiVec 128bit vector processing at lower price points and power requirements. The MPC8640D processor runs at 1/1.25GHz per core while consuming up to 27 percent less power and costing up to 37 percent less than its MPC8641D predecessor.

The MPC8640D processor features software, package and pin-for-pin compatibility with the MPC8641D processor. It is also compatible with Freescale's forthcoming QorIQ devices, and Freescale simplifies development via an available MPC8641D development platform, which comes with a Linux board support package (BSP).

"This device continues Freescale's track record of delivering high levels of integration and performance while keeping power requirements low," said Glenn Beck, marketing manager with Freescale's networking systems division. "We expect the MPC8640D to prove especially attractive to markets where power/performance ratios are critical."

A highly integrated device, the MPC8640D processor incorporates two e600 cores each with 1Mbyte of L2 cache. Each core also features the industry benchmark 128bit AltiVec vector processing engine. The AltiVec engine commonly achieves a 2x to 12x performance increase as demonstrated by EEMBC benchmarks.

High-speed I/O connectivity is delivered via an integrated DDR1/DDR2 memory controller, dual PCIe and RapidIO controllers and quad Ethernet controllers. With dual core performance as well as integrated northbridge and southbridge functionality, this single chip can replace what could take up to four chips using typical solutions. Additionally, all core-to-peripheral connections are internal, so board designers avoid difficulties related to laying out high-speed parallel buses.

A standard temperature range of 0-105C is now qualified and the extended temperature range of 40-105C is expected to follow soon.

The MPC8640D processor is supported by extensive enablement solutions from software vendors including Green Hills, MontaVista, QNX and Wind River. Additionally, leading high performance embedded computing solution providers Curtiss-Wright and GE Fanuc both plan to deliver products based on the device during the second half of 2008.

The dual core version of the MPC8640D (MC8640DVU1000HC) is available at a suggested retail price of $120 in 10,000 quantities, and the single core version (MC8640HX1000HC) is available at a suggested retail price of $90 in 10,000 quantities. The MPC8641D reference design board (MCEVALHPCN-8641D) is available at a suggested retail price of at $3,075.

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