LAS VEGAS -- Hewlett-Packard Co. today revealed details of its 64-bit PA-8700 processor, HP's first chip fabricated with copper interconnects. Built on a 0.18-micron silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process, the new RISC processor is designed to operate at and above 800 MHz.
The PA-8700 was released to manufacturing in late March and is expected to ship in servers and workstations in the first half of 2001. HP made the announcement here at InterWorks 2000, an HP enterprise computing users group.
The SOI and copper CMOS processes enable the chip to perform 3.2 billion operations per second, HP claimed.
According to the company, preliminary estimates show that the PA-8700's integer and floating-point performance will be at least 64% and 14% better, respectively, than published figures for Sun Microsystems Inc.'s UltraSparc III.
HP said the 0.18-micron process allows for the largest on-chip cache -- 2.25 megabytes -- of any microprocessor, and a 50% increase over the PA-8600. The new process also reduces voltage, which significantly lowers power consumption when the chip operates at higher frequencies, and results in cooler operation.
The PA-8700, as part of the PA-RISC family, is still a stepping-stone to IA-64, HP's next-generation processor, which it is jointly developing with Intel Corp. The PA-RISC family will continue to be developed at least through PA-8900, said Scott Stallard, vice president and general manager of HP's Business Systems and Technology Organization.
"HP's dual PA-RISC and IA-64 systems roadmaps will preserve customers' current IT infrastructures and environments, while offering them the choice of when to make the transition to IA-64," he said.