The PowerPC AS™ A10 64-bit RISC microprocessor is a 4.7-million-transistor integrated circuit design, using IBM CMOS 5L 0.5-µm, 3-V, four-level-metal ASIC technology. Support for the PowerPC AS architecture is implemented in a 213-mm2 die using a semicustom design methodology. Chip density and speed are enhanced through the use of custom macros and multiport arrays. An on-chip phase-locked-loop circuit is used to reduce chip-to-chip clock skew. Full utilization of the four-level-metal interconnect technology was achieved through architectural floorplanning, performance clustering, and timing-driven placement and wiring, with a total wire length of over 102 meters placed on the 14.6 × 14.6-mm die. The microprocessor is a pipelined, superscalar design with five separate functional units, a 4KB instruction cache, and an 8KB data cache. The design includes parity, error-correction, and error-logging functions, as well as self-test for logic and arrays during power-on. The design is robust and implements a wide range of performance configurations at the system level, allowing direct attachment of DRAM to the processor, or high-performance L2 cache options using high-speed SRAM. An on-chip system I/O bus and bus controller are provided for attachment of peripherals.
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