Fastest PowerPC chip yet

IBM has disclosed that its fastest embedded PowerPC microprocessor is currently being evaluated by select customers and that general sampling of the new chip is set for January 2002.

The PowerPC 750FX, as it is known, is planned to initially debut at 700 MHz, with versions at speeds up to 1GHz later that year.

Manufactured in IBM’s advanced 0.13 micron process, the chip is the first to include copper interconnects, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and low-k dielectric insulation technologies.

The device is expected to deliver an estimated 2300 Dhrystone MIPS performance at 1GHz. At the same time, power dissipation has been minimised by use of the advanced process technologies. The 750FX consumes only 3.6W (typical) at 800MHz, exceeding power efficiencies of comparably performing microprocessors.

The chip supports bus frequencies of up to 200MHz, and has additional pipelining to provide up to 25% more performance than previous PowerPC devices in addition to frequency improvements.

The superscalar device includes 512K of internal on-chip L2 cache running at processor frequency, and uses a 5-stage pipeline to minimise latency.