AMCC Announces Evaluation Kits for PowerPC 460EX, 460GT Processors

Applied Micro Circuits Corporation [NASDAQ:AMCC], a global leader in optical transport, embedded Power Architecture(tm) processing and storage solutions, announced the availability of low-cost, easy-to-use evaluation kits for its Power Architecture 460EX and 460GT 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 evaluation of the 460EX and 460GT 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.

Each of the evaluation kits includes a custom-designed, Linux®-based evaluation board, software tools CD from industry-leading suppliers and a Resource CD containing a comprehensive set of benchmarks, utilities and sample applications.

The “Canyonlands” 460EX evaluation board, with a 7″ x 7″ form factor, includes an AMCC 460EX processor operating at a clock frequency of 1.0GHz. Other hardware features include 256MBytes of DDR2 SDRAM, 64MBytes of NOR Flash, 32MBytes of NAND flash, two 10/100/1G Ethernet ports, a USB 2.0 host port, a USB 2.0 OTG port, two PCI-Express connectors, a PCI connector, a SATA connector, two serial ports, 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 “Glacier” 460GT evaluation board has a similar feature-set, adding two additional 10/100/1G Ethernet ports in place of the SATA and USB ports that are present on the 460EX Canyonlands board.

The evaluation boards in these new kits were designed for AMCC by Embedded Planet. 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.

“We are proud to have developed the Canyonlands and Glacier evaluation kits for AMCC,” said Tim Van de Walle, Sales and Marketing Manager at Embedded Planet. “We believe that these kits will enable AMCC’s customers to 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 these new evaluation kits to enable us to secure many more AMCC design-wins.”

“We are excited to introduce these new evaluation kits that enable our customers to evaluate the 460EX and 460GT processors and then start their own product development,” said Charlie Ashton, Director of Enablement at AMCC. “The 460EX and 460GT evaluation kits retain the key concepts of our previously introduced kits, which have already been proven popular with customers. Customers can move quickly through the evaluation phase, start their hardware design based on a proven baseline and begin their software development before their own target hardware is ready. We are delighted that Embedded Planet has produced two more high-quality evaluation kits for us, following similar kits which they previously developed for the 405EZ, 440EP, 440EPx, 440GR and 440GRx processors. We value our relationship with Embedded Planet and look forward to further collaboration with them in the future.”

To assist with the processor evaluation phase, the Resource CD included in the kits contains 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 460EX and 460GT 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 boards 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.

These two new evaluation kits join the family of ten previously-introduced, easy-to-use AMCC evaluation kits, which include the Taihu 405EP kit, the Kilauea 405EX kit, the Haleakala 405EXr 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 460EX and 460GT 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.

AMCC’s evaluation kits and overall “enablement” strategy were recently reviewed and commended in a white paper authored by Synchromesh Computing LLC and available at http://www.amcc.com/Company/SynchromeshComputing_AMCC_OOB-Final-copyright.pdf. The new 460EX and 460GT evaluation kits provide users with the same high-quality out-of-the-box experience described in this white paper.

To assist customers in selecting the optimum development environment for their 460EX- and 460GT-based projects, software tools CDs from industry-leading suppliers such as Denx and Corelis, Inc. are included in the kits.

Pricing and Availability
AMCC’s 460EX and 460GT evaluation kits will be available in May and may be ordered from AMCC or any authorized distributor using part numbers EV-KIT-460EX-01 and EV-KIT-460GT-01. The suggested distributor resale price for each kit is $995.

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 and Storage processors and RAID controllers, our products are the foundation of the IP Communications Revolution. AMCC’s 3ware® SAS and SATA RAID product families deliver cost-effective, high-performance, high-capacity storage for enterprises and consumers worldwide for applications from the desktop to the data center.

AMCC and 3ware are registered trademarks of APPLIED MICRO CIRCUITS CORPORATION. Power Architecture is a trademark licensed by Power.org.