Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.


(processor, standard)
(PPC) A RISC microprocessor designed to meet a standard which was jointly designed by Motorola, IBM, and Apple Computer (the PowerPC Alliance). The PowerPC standard specifies a common instruction set architecture (ISA), allowing anyone to design and fabricate PowerPC processors, which will run the same code. The PowerPC architecture is based on the IBM POWER architecture, used in IBM's RS/6000 workstations. Currently IBM and Motorola are working on PowerPC chips.

The PowerPC standard specifies both 32-bit and 64-bit data paths. Early implementations were 32-bit (e.g. PowerPC 601); later higher-performance implementations were 64-bit (e.g. PowerPC 620). A PowerPC has 32 integer registers (32- or 64 bit) and 32 floating-point (IEEE standard 64 bit) floating-point registers.

The POWER CPU chip and PowerPC have a (large) common core, but both have instructions that the other doesn't. The PowerPC offers the following features that POWER does not:

Support for running in little-endian mode.

Addition of single precision floating-point operations.

Control of branch prediction direction.

A hardware coherency model (not in Book I).

Some other floating-point instructions (some optional).

The real time clock (upper and lower) was replaced with the time base registers (upper and lower), which don't count in sec/ns (the decrementer also changed).

64-bit instruction operands, registers, etc. (in 64 bit processors).

See also PowerOpen, PowerPC Platform (PReP).

IBM PPC info.

gopher://info.hed.apple.com/, "Apple Corporate News/" (press releases), "Apple Technologies/" and "Product Information/". gopher://ike.engr.washington.edu/, "IBM General News/", "IBM Product Announcements/", "IBM Detailed Product Announcements/", "IBM Hardware Catalog/".

Usenet newsgroups: news:comp.sys.powerpc, news:comp.sys.mac.hardware.

["Microprocessor Report", 16 October 1991].
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)


A family of RISC-based CPU chips developed by IBM, Apple and Motorola. PowerPC chips have been used in a wide range of applications from embedded systems to supercomputers. They were used in Apple's Power Macs up to the G5, before Apple switched to Intel processors. Various models of IBM's System i and System p computers used PowerPC chips, and Freescale Semiconductor (formerly the Motorola chip division) features the Power Architecture for embedded systems in a variety of industries.

Although mostly compatible before, starting in 2006 with Power ISA 2.03, PowerPC chips were united in a common instruction set architecture (ISA) with IBM's POWER chips. For more information, visit www.power.org. See Power Mac, G5, POWER CPU, Power Systems, Apple-IBM Alliance and CHRP.
               WordPowerPC        Size  Tran-Model   Year  (bits) sistors  Notes

 series  2008     64           Comms

 eSeries 2006  32-64           Automotive

 970     2003     64    52M    Mac G5

 7400    1999     32  10.5M    Mac G4

 750     1997     32   6.4M    Mac G3
 740     1997     32   6.4M    Mac G3

 604e    1996     32   5.1M
 603e**  1996     32   2.6M

 603     1995     32   1.6M
 604     1995     32   3.6M
 602**   1995     32     1M

 601     1993     32   2.8M

  ** low power for laptops
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
The new suite of PowerPC assemblers can also be used to test pure PowerPC assembler hand code.
This type of PowerPC-on-VMEbus CPU board, supporting IBM's PowerPC 750 FX and compatible with the PowerPC 750 GX, is particularly well suited to complex industrial control tasks, and can even be used for image processing when combined with PMC frame grabbers.
AMCC uses IBM Microelectronics as a chip fab, and will continue this relationship after acquiring the PowerPC 400 series.
For embedded Linux developers interested in testing the capabilities of the Linux 2.6 kernel on the 8260 PowerPC processor, the beta version of the TimeStorm LDK for PPC8260 can be downloaded from http://www.timesys.com/2.6.
Available with either single or dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, the Xserve G5 architecture is based on an execution core that features massively parallel computation for an unprecedented 215 in-flight instructions, full symmetric multi-processing, two double precision floating-point units and an optimized Velocity Engine.
CodeWarrior Development Studio, PowerPC ISA Edition for Communications Processors, Version 8, supports the entire embedded development process including platform creation, application development, and performance tuning, as well as hardware bring-up, OS bring-up and driver support.
The new eMac for education was unveiled by the company in April and starts at around $1,000--making it the most affordable PowerPC G4 system ever.
This latest version of the Diab C/C++ compiler from Wind River, includes several product enhancements and optimisations for specific microprocessor architectures including PowerPC, Intel XScale and MIPS.
emWare, Inc., a provider of remote device management solutions, has debuted its DeviceGate-E Embedded Gateway for the PowerPC platform.
It features an 800MHz PowerPC G4 processor; 256MB of RAM, expandable to 1GB; a 40 or 60GB hard drive; CD-RW or DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive; or a SuperDrive (combination DVD-R/CD-RW drive).
Radstone Technology has announced the arrival of two new communication PMC boards, the latest members of the EMPower family of boards based on PowerPC technology.