AMCC Creates Evaluation Kits for PowerPC 405EX, 405EXr Processors

Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) (NASDAQ:AMCC) announced the availability of low-cost, easy-to-use evaluation kits for its Power Architecture® 405EX and 405EXr processors. To accelerate customers’ system development time, AMCC’s new evaluation kits provide users with a comprehensive set of resources including custom-designed evaluation boards, industry-standard software development tools, sample applications, system-level benchmarks and hardware design files. The kits allow customers to perform comprehensive evaluations of the 405EX and 405EXr processors, use the baseline hardware/software designs as a starting-point for their own product development and initiate their system software development using the kits as the target platforms.

The 405EX evaluation kit named “Kilauea” and the 405EXr evaluation kit named “Haleakala” join the family of eight previously introduced, easy-to-use AMCC evaluation kits, which include the Taihu 405EP kit, the Acadia 405EZ kit, the Yosemite 440EP kit, the Sequoia 440EPx kit, the Yellowstone 440GR kit, the Rainier 440GRx kit, the Taishan 440GX kit and the Katmai 440SPe kit. AMCC’s extensive range of PowerPC® evaluation kits is based on clear objectives to provide customers with easy-to-use platforms for processor evaluation and software development. Each of the kits can be set up in 15 minutes or less, facilitated by a clear, step-by-step Getting Started guide and user-friendly configuration software. The 405EX and 405EXr evaluation kits are based on the same user-friendly concepts as the rest of the family, while adding new software utilities designed to further enhance customers’ evaluation experiences.

The two new kits contain evaluation boards designed for AMCC by Beijing UD Technology Co., Ltd. (UDTech). The boards are configured with the Linux® operating system, provided by DENX Software Engineering Gmbh (Denx), but also provide the flexibility to load and run other PowerPC-compatible embedded operating systems. Schematics and layout files for the board are provided free-of-charge via AMCC’s website so customers can start their designs from a proven baseline. The 405EX Kilauea board, with a 7″ x 7″ form factor, includes an AMCC 405EX processor operating at a clock frequency of 600MHz. Other hardware features include 256MBytes of DDR2 SDRAM, 64MBytes of NOR Flash, 64MBytes of NAND flash, two 10/100/1G Ethernet ports, one Micro-B USB 2.0 host/device port, two PCI-Express connectors, two serial ports, two RJ11 connectors, a JTAG connector and a trace connector. The NOR flash image includes Linux (2.6 kernel) and U-Boot boot firmware, both provided by Denx, along with a file system that incorporates a range of AMCC-developed sample applications, benchmarks and utilities.

The 405EXr Haleakala board includes an AMCC 405EX processor running at 533MHz, a single 10/100/1G Ethernet port and a single PCI-Express connector, but is otherwise identical to the 405EX Kilauea board.

“We are proud to have developed the Kilauea and Haleakala evaluation kits for AMCC,” said John Liu, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at UDTech. “We believe that these kits will enable AMCC’s customers accelerate their time-to-market and we are pleased to have developed these high-quality products on the aggressive schedule that AMCC required.”

“Many of our customers have selected AMCC processors because of AMCC’s comprehensive, low-cost evaluation kits that make it so easy for them to evaluate the platform,” said John Weber, Technology Specialist for embedded processors at Avnet-Memec. “Our customers need a straightforward, painless way to check out a new processor and then start their software development. We expect the 405EX Kilauea kit and the 405EXr Haleakala kit to enable us to secure many more AMCC design wins.”

“We are excited to introduce these two new evaluation kits as part of our overall goal of improving our customers’ experience as they evaluate our processors and then start their own product development,” said Charlie Ashton, Director of Software at AMCC. “The 405EX and 405EXr evaluation kits retain the key concepts of our previously introduced kits that have already been proven popular with customers. 405EX and 405EXr customers will be able to move quickly through the evaluation phase, start their hardware design based on a proven baseline and start their software development before their own target hardware is ready. We are delighted that UDTech has produced two more evaluation kits for us on challenging schedules, following the 405EP Taihu kit and 440GX Taishan kit that they developed in 2005 and 2006. We value our relationship with UDTech and look forward to further collaboration with them in the future.”

To assist with the processor evaluation phase, the Resource CDs included in the kits contain industry-standard benchmarks for use in processor performance analysis, such as TTCP, DBench, HINT®, STREAM and MPEG-4. These benchmarks allow customers to perform a detailed analysis of the processor’s performance using standard metrics without having to acquire and configure the benchmarks themselves. Also included is a custom security benchmarking environment that measures the performance of the on-chip security engine on standard security algorithms. Once customers progress to the software development phase and before their own target hardware (prototype board) is available, the Resource CD offers a wide range of sample applications that can be used as a starting-point for customers’ software applications, as well as various utilities to aid in system configuration. The sample applications include a web server, telnet server, FTP server and example game, while the utilities provide a detailed configuration report on the board as well as utilities for setting the IP address and MAC ID.

The 405EX and 405EXr evaluation kits are configured with the Linux operating system (2.6 kernel) along with U-Boot boot firmware, both provided by Denx. Customers can also load and run other PowerPC-compatible embedded operating systems available from AMCC’s partners. Schematics and layout files for the board are provided free of charge via AMCC’s website so that customers can start their designs from a proven baseline. The Linux code and U-Boot code (both source code and executables) are available from Denx via links on AMCC’s website.

To assist customers in selecting the optimum development environment for their 405EX and 405EXr based projects, software tools CDs from industry-leading suppliers such as Denx and Corelis, Inc. are included in the kit.

Pricing and Availability
AMCC’s 405EX and 405EXr evaluation kits will be available in December and may be ordered from AMCC or any authorized distributor using part numbers EV-KIT-405EX-01 and EV-KIT-405EXr-01. The suggested distributor resale price is $750.

About AMCC
AMCC provides leadership semiconductor solutions to process, transport, and store digital information for the world’s wired and wireless networks. As a leading supplier of Power Architecture(TM) based processors and with world-class expertise in SONET and Ethernet protocol processing and PHY technology, our products are the foundation of the IP Communications Revolution.

About Beijing UD Technology Co., Ltd. (UDTech)
UDTech is a dedicated development service provider and product solution supplier on digitalized broadband networking and application products. With rich experiences in the development on PowerPC and other processors, audio and video DSP, it provides turn-key services including solution provision, embedded software and hardware design and development, and ODM with lower cost.

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