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Microprocessor Forum: IBM PowerPC 970

This week should bring us a new wave of 64-bit processors for desktop and embedded systems: at Microprocessor Forum IBM is expected to announce the first 64-bit PowerPC. Featuring 1.8 GHz clock and supporting Altivec instructions for multimedia data processing and operation in up to 16-unit systems, it will become the base for new Apple Macintosh computers, that might appear in the market late next year.

Besides, NEC Electronics this week is to announce 64-bit MIPS processor, positioned as a system-on-chip core. Tensilica Inc. will describe architecture, incorporating user-defined 64-bit instructions for better parallelism, though featuring the same 32-bit core architecture.

PowerPC 970 32/64-bit architecture is realized rather simply: a special instruction flag enables 32-bit mode and upper instruction and data bits are ingnored. Both 32/64-bit modes feature 8 instructions per cycle. Besides, all 32-bit PowerPC specifications have remained the same.

Source: EE Times

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