I know there's probably a lot of folks who assume almost everything that's embedded and wider than 8 bits runs on an ARM processor. That's not even close to right! There's an awful lot of embedded stuff on PowerPC MPC5xx and MPC5xxx MCU platforms that aren't going away anytime soon. And even there most folks think what's left is mostly automotive but they're forgetting embedded avionics where ARM still doesn't have that large of a market share. The combination of multiple hierarchies of hardware timers and LOTS of comm like TouCAN certainly helps a lot in cutting the total chip count in tight packaging. This series is a real staple for many types of avionics especially for applications like GPS and FADECs. There's also quite a few MPC6xx MPUs in the field in current production including ALL OVER the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Yes I realize IBM hasn't provided the merchant market with quantities of parts in awhile (although I thought it would be easier to find what the year was than it's turning out to be). And remember it's not terribly easy or inexpensive to port a long-completed DO-178 Level A project over to a different ISA! The amount of heartburn that would be created if Freescale ever decided to abandon the PowerPC series would be MONUMENTAL and I know the issue keeps many production managers from sleeping at night.
Poor IBM, they're the Rodney Dangerfield of computer companies, they saved the hard disk industry by boosting recording density by 1000x by creating a technology so innovative that a Nobel Prize was awarded for inventing it, now they aren't even in the industry any more...!
Second Source for PPC: it's call Freescale, they 'rule' the network market with PPC's for basestations. They're probably the only one left with any "real" stake in PPC. AMCC - they're hedging their X-Gene (as is FSL with their LS-xxxx parts).
Soon, we may all mourn the loss of this American Icon. . . IBM==> I've Been Moved. . . Yep, right into obscurity and out the door. . .
@EmbeddedSteve: It may make sense to get out of semiconductor business altogether for IBM in light of the uber consolidation going on in that business. But I think it would be a grave mistake for IBM to get out of hardware business. It has had many captive markets / customers and it should focus on innovation on serving them better with clearer product roadmaps.
IBM is an easy target for puns but I believe the company has lasting values!
MP Divakar PS: I am NOT an employee of IBM, never have been so far!
IBM has enjoyed being at the height of sucess for a very long time. IBM is also very synomynous with strong brand value and stability. Fab is a tough business to remain in. Definitely layoffs are worse they affect the person's personality and of course social life. It should be avoided by the company as much as possible.
IBM can do a lot of differentiation in the microwave and mmwave market by leveraging their SiGe BiCMOS processes, Unfortunaley as someone who uses their processes it has to be said that their foundry support is very average to put it mildly when compared to the other big players....It looks like IBM is not willing to go full throtle in the foundry model....In my opinion they have a mentality of an internal fab and not a foundry that can support multiple design houses...As others mention i sincerly hope IBM continues to stay in the semiconductor process development path...There is plenty of innovation around in the analog/microwave space that can leverage IBM's great SiGe development.
IBM made some really smashing punch card machines back in the '60s and '70s - I used a lot of them and carried boxes of punch cards around the UW-Madison campus for years. Drew admirers like crazy - "Wow, can I touch your punch cards?" they would say. But I neve let them. It was a matter of ethics - or something. Why not revive that business?
What they need is a really cool advert campaign, showing highly trendoid types using punch cards to do things nobody though punch cards could be used for - I leave it up to the marketoids to figure this part out - then they could launch a line of punch card machines for the home, the car, the kitchen, the baby's room, the busy business person on the go, all using punch cards to make life bigger, better, faster and stronger.