In today’s gizmo world, PowerPC is one of the most widely used microprocessors. PowerPC is the short form of Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC Performance Computing. As the name indicates,PowerPC processors are designed, based on Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) architecture. This microprocessor was designed and developed by joint effort of Apple,IBM and Motorola engineers in 1991. Though initially it was developed for personal computers,but later the system designers started using this processor frequently for other applications,like embedded systems and video game consoles. Since the design of PowerPC was done based on IBM’s POWER architecture, there is a high level of compatibility between these two.
The RISC architecture was conceived by the engineers,involved in IBM’s 801 project in mid 1970s.
801 based microprocessor was employed in a large number of IBM embedded systems. Later on,this processor was upgraded to 16 register ROMP processor,which was used in IBM 6150 Series workstations. Finally, in early 1990s the 64 bit POWER architecture was introduced in the RISC System/6000. During this time,IBM,Motorola and Apple joined hands to design and develop PowerPC processors. Once the PowerPC products were introduced in the market,they were received by the software vendors with enthusiasm. Microsoft developed Windows NT 3.51 for PowerPC based servers. Sun Microsystems came up with new version of Solaris,specially designed for PowerPC based systems. By mid 1990s, PowerPC was upgraded to match the performance of fastest x86 CPUs.
PowerPC processor is modeled on RISC architecture,which allows super-scalar implementation.
There are two implementations of PowerPC. One is 32 bit and the other one is 64 bit. In addition to the double precision forms,single precision forms of some floating point instructions are supported. The 64 bit implementation is backward compatible with 32 bit implementation. The new memory management architecture of PowerPC is a paged one,which is widely used in server and desktop systems. For complicated design issues,IBM support providers render online round the clock PC support services.
Both endian modes,i.e. big endian and little endian modes are supported by PowerPC. It is possible to switch from one mode to another during the run time. This could be done by modifying a bit in the Machine State Register(MSR). Another bit in the MSR allows the operating system to run in a different mode. Inverted Page Table could be accessed only in big endian mode. The default mode of PowerPC is big endian. To select a suitable mode for a particular requirement, the help from an experienced tech support provider should be taken.
Launched in the market in 1992,PowerPC 601 was the first microprocessor to support 32 bit PowerPC instruction set. It was introduced in IBM Workstation RS/6000 and later used in Apple Power Macintosh. The second generation PowerPC processors were PowerPC 603 and PowerPC 604. PowerPC 603 was a low end processor,which was noteworthy because of its low cost and low power consumption. It was primarily designed for portable and embedded systems. The three power saving modes,namely doze,nap and sleep,reduced the power consumption drastically. For example, in sleep mode PowerPC 603 consumed only 2mW of power. In 1997,PowerPC 620 was launched with full implementation of the entire 64 bit PowerPC architecture.
Since PowerPC is a highly advanced microprocessor, many designers find it difficult to use it. The make the design process easy, Dell support providers render round the clock online computer support for PowerPC problems.