Motorola Shipping 68040 In Volume

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 26, 1990 -- PRNewswire -- The Microprocessor and Memory Technologies Group of Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced initial volume shipments of the production version of its 68040 (040) microprocessor.

"The 68000 family has inspired revolutionary products like the Apple Macintosh, Hewlett-Packard's laser printer and the NeXT Computer," said Murray A. Goldman, senior vice president and general manager of Motorola's Microprocessor and Memory Technologies Group. "With the 040's breakthrough increases in performance and functionality, it will continue to spark a revolution of its own."

More than 100 companies have sampled early versions of the 040. A total of 36 computer system and board manufacturers, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard/Apollo, NCR, NeXT, and Unisys have announced their intention to use the microprocessor to power their future products. Leading the Pack

The 68040 embodies a complete redesign of the 68000 family architecture, helping it deliver from three to ten times the performance of the 68030, while remaining 100 percent software compatible with all other 68000 family members. Executing 20 million instructions per second (MIPS) and 3.5 million floating-point operations per second (MFLOPS) at 25 MHz, the 040 has the highest throughput of any available mainstream microprocessor, performing up to 14 operations simultaneously. It outperforms both complex- and reduced-instruction- set computing (CISC and RISC) microprocessors like the Intel 80486 and Sun Microsystems' SPARC.

The 68040 is the most advanced single-chip microprocessor ever built. It has 1.2 million transistors, almost four times the number in the 68030. Fabricated with Motorola's 0.8-micron high-performance complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (HCMOS) process, the 040 integrates an integer unit, a floating-point unit, two memory-management units, and two 4-kilobyte cache memories -- one for data and one for instructions. Integer Unit

The 040's integer unit can process as many as six separate instructions simultaneously because of its high degree of pipelining -- parallel processing at the chip level. The 040 is the first CISC microprocessor that uses on-chip hardware to calculate addresses of data to be read from or written to memory, as well as to prefetch, decode and execute instructions. Following RISC tenets, instructions and addressing modes used most frequently have been microcoded, with the result that the average 68040 instruction executes in just 1.3 clock cycles, compared to 3.4 cycles for the 68030. Floating Point Unit

The 68040's floating-point unit crunches numbers in applications such as graphics, computer simulation and financial analysis. Where the 68030 requires a separate math coprocessor chip, the 68882, the 68040 integrates an 80-bit floating-point math unit. Bringing this function on-chip speeds overall processing and eliminates interfacing overhead. With its dedicated circuitry, the 040 has three times the throughput of the Intel 486 floating-point unit, and five to ten times the performance of the 68882 on frequently used instructions. The 040's floating-point unit also includes a dedicated, 64 x 8 hardware multiplier, which helps boost its performance to 3.5 MFLOPS. Caches and Memory Management Unit

Caches are small, fast memories that give microprocessors rapid access to frequently used information. In today's high-performance microprocessors, with execution units demanding an uninterrupted flow of information, the need to integrate caches on-chip has almost become a necessity. The 040 integrates separate, 4-kilobyte data and instruction caches, allowing instructions and data to be stored separately and fetched or written simultaneously. Working in parallel, these caches can feed data and instructions to the core processing unit at a rate of 200 megabytes per second. In addition, they reduce the need for external memory, lowering the cost of the overall system.

On the 040, each cache has its own on-chip memory-management unit (MMU) and cache controller. The 040 cache controllers are intelligent and flexible, giving the processor a choice of four locations in which to store information. This minimizes instances of overwriting, and boosts the 040's cache "hit-rate" over 99 percent.

The MMUs also offer a special feature called copy-back. In a conventional processor, when a calculation is completed, the result is stored back in cache and simultaneously written through to off-chip memories (a process called write-through). In copy-back mode, data is stored in cache without accessing main memory. As a result, main memory needs to be updated less frequently, leaving the system bus free to perform other functions on demand. Full Compatibility

Although it embodies a complete redesign of the 68000 architecture, the 68040 maintains full source-code compatibility with the entire 68000 family -- the 68000, 68010, 68020 and 68030 microprocessors. This compatibility allows Motorola customers to take advantage of the family's $4 billion installed base of 32-bit software -- the world's largest -- and also simplifies upgrading of hardware -- adding to the $160 billion of 68000 hardware that already exists.

The 68040 is available now, in a 179-pin ceramic pin-grid array package. It is priced at $595 each, in quantities of 1,000.

Motorola's Microprocessor and Memory Technologies Group includes the High End Microprocessor Division, the Microcontroller Division and the Digital Signal Processor Operation. The Group has established a number of industry-standard architectures, including the 68000 and 88000 families of microprocessors, the 68HC05, 68HC11 and 68300 microcontrollers, and the 56000 and 96000 families of digital signal processors.

Motorola is the largest and broadest supplier of semiconductors in North America, with a balanced portfolio of over 50,000 devices. In 1988, it was a winner of the U.S. Department of Commerce's first annual Malcolm Baldrige award, in recognition of its superior company-wide quality management process.

CONTACT: Maura FitzGerald of Cunningham Communication, 617-494-8202, for Motorola; or Dean Mosley of Motorola, 512-891-2839

Copyright (c) 1990, PR Newswire