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crenz
Jul 16, 2003, 11:11 AM
Just wondering... is the 7457 already shipping? I saw an interesting article just now, dating from June:

Synergy Now Shipping 7457-powered Boards,
Breaking GHz-plus Speed Barriers


Synergy is first embedded SBC vendor to deploy ultra-fast PowerPC7457™ G4 chips, giving OEM customers time-to-market advantages with validated, next-generation SBCs.

May 27, 2003/San Diego, CA – Synergy Microsystems, Inc. (Synergy) announced today that it is now shipping evaluation SBCs with single or dual, PowerPC 7457 G4 processors that deliver 1.3-GHz speeds while using under 15W of power per processor. Company executives said the new class of fully certified boards - the first to break long-held cycle-speed barriers without requiring additional power or generating higher heat profiles - will enable a new generation of defense and industrial applications.

"We moved very quickly because we believe this new Motorola chip is a break-through design," noted Thomas Powell, Synergy’s CEO. "It provides almost 12 GFLOPS of performance, yet actually lowers the power drain. When running at 1 GHz, it dissipates less than 10 watts - which falls well beneath the threshold for embedded power-sensitive designs."

(Source: http://www.synergymicro.com/PressRel/03_06_27.html )

Note that the date in the press release is wrong -- it was June, not May.

Lanbrown
Jul 16, 2003, 11:35 AM
Motorola did move the release date from the fourth quarter to the third quarter recently. I couldn't find any press release from Motorola to confirm that though.

daveL
Jul 16, 2003, 01:53 PM
The company you quoted said that they will be shipping 7457 based products in volume in Q3. I will not be surprised to see new PBs shipping in September with the 7457. At 1.3 GHz, it uses 16.6 watts (typical?) vs 15 watts for the 7455 at 1 GHz. It also has 2x the L2 cache (512K) and a 200 MHz FSB. Moto claims a 1.3 GHz 7457 will deliver 40% better performance than a 1 GHz 7455.

Interestingly, I also found that Moto had back ported its low-k process used in their new 130 nm fabs back to the 180 nm process used for the 7455. This allows a 20% speed bump with virtually no increase in power.

Lanbrown
Jul 16, 2003, 02:31 PM
It is usually best to start a new technique on an existing process. When Intel released the P4, it was on the .18-micron process while the latest PIII's were on .13. When Sun had Ti go to copper, it was on the existing .15 process and then they went to .13. If you tried to do the copper, SOI, etc and a smaller die at the same time, you are asking for problems. If a problem does arise, you have to figure out which of the two it could be. SO the tried and true die size is almost always used.

Some believe that is how Apple got the G4 over clocked to 1.42 GHz with a 167MHz bus was by using the 7455 with SOI. Ti could make the G4 smaller and faster. Their OMG is better then the SOI and they have the .09 process. Both of these could boost the speeds of the G4 up while reducing power and heat.

Maybe it's time for Motorola to dump their manufacturing division and have others make the chips. Ti, Intel and IBM are three big names. Sun uses Ti for their SPARC processors; IBM and Intel do their own. It costs a lot of money to stay current in the fabrication business, and with Motorola just getting to .13, they are really behind the ball. Not like the IBM Power4 is any better, it is still on the .18 process, as I believe the Itanium is. Nvidia is going to have IBM fab their next line of GPU's.

crenz
Jul 16, 2003, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by daveL
At 1.3 GHz, it uses 16.6 watts (typical?) vs 15 watts for the 7455 at 1 GHz.

Actually, the article even says
that deliver 1.3-GHz speeds while using under 15W of power per processor.

I think 16.6 Watts is the estimate for 1.4 GHz -- I read that figure before. Note also how they say that the transition towards the 7457 is quite easy. We might see a 1.3 GHz 17" Powerbook end of August, if Motorola can ship the processors in volume. Note sure about the 15" one -- they might keep it OS 9-compatible for a while longer. And I definitely hope for an at least 1 GHz 12" Powerbook...

Lanbrown
Jul 17, 2003, 08:21 AM
I saw 16.6 watts at 1.3GHz.