Austin, Texas -- Freescale Semiconductor Inc. will license its e200 Power architecture cores for the automotive and transportation markets through partner IPextreme Inc. (Campbell, Calif.). Their availability follows the January news that IBM Corp.'s Power 440 and 405 processor cores would be available for sublicensing from Synopsys Inc. as a newly authorized Power design center.
IBM and Freescale will promote embedded applications for the Power architecture through the Power.org open alliance. The consortium will concentrate on open instruction-set designs to compete with the likes of ARM and MIPS.
Factors such as variable-length encoding and single-instruction/multiple-data instruction issuance make the e200 family a formidable competitor to entrenched cores like ARM, said Carlos Gutierrez, chief of staff in the engineering group of Freescale's networking and computing systems group.
IPextreme will package the cores as easily synthesizable technology blocks, capable of being ported to different foundry processes. IPextreme also serves as the maintenance source for third-party designs.
IPextreme is offering four versions of the Power core for licensing: the e200z0, e200z1, e200z3 and e200z6. All are based on the Version 2.03 Power Instruction Set Architecture. The first three cores use a four-stage pipeline with variable-length encoding. The z1 adds a memory management unit and the z3 adds a floating-point unit. The z6 is a seven-stage architecture with 32-kbyte cache. All cores are 80 MHz except the z6, which is 150 MHz.