Applied Micro buys IBM PowerPC assets for $227 million

“Applied Micro Circuits Corp. in San Diego will acquire intellectual property and a range of assets related to IBM’s embedded PowerPC processors, in a deal worth $227 million, it said on Tuesday. The agreement includes current products based on IBM’s PowerPC 403, 405 and 440 processor architectures, which IBM says accounted for $55 million in revenue in 2003, Dave Rickey, AMCC chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement,” Gillian Law reports for IDG News Service.

“IBM, in Armonk, N.Y., said in early April that it planned to encourage third-party licensing of its Power architecture to boost the integration of devices, from small devices to large servers. Tuesday’s deal is part of that move to ‘expand the Power ecosystem,’ IBM spokesman Rick Brause said. IBM will continue to make high performance PowerPC products for its own products and for important customers including Apple Computer, Sony and Nintendo,” Law reports.

Full article here.


  1. Sounds like IBM is licensing the design out to other companies. So now Applied Micro Circuits Corp will start making PPC chips also, as well as buying them from IBM. IBM is trying to make the architecture more widespread. I hope it works out.

  2. Chips are down…

    It’s pretty clear. The PowerPPC 970 remains with IBM and future Power development. But they are getting rid of legacy G4 and G3 architectures which are very different.

    With the relase of 1.24 GHz eMacs today, that pretty much signals the end of low end G4s and G3s anyway.

  3. I am not quite sure how this move will affect the game but it does not really sound too bad… I just hope that it would not create a new brand of personal computers versus the Mac.

  4. IBM isn’t getting rid of legacy G3/G4 architectures — those belong to Motorola.

    IBM has used the PowerPC design almost from the beginning of the program for embedded processors. I couldn’t find anything in the short search I did to indicate whether the PowerPC 403/405/440 were used in the first-generation Mac PowerPCs, but their clock speeds are down in that range — below 75MHz. I think the 403 may have been the second PowerPC CPU (not second generation, but first speed bump) used, but that was a long time ago to remember clearly….

    Embedded processors are used in machines for something other than general purpose computing. A car’s electronic fuel injection system has an embedded processor running the show. Any sort of programmable microwave oven, clothes dryer or other appliance is going to have an embedded processor in it.

  5. Once Motorola completes the spinoff of its semiconductor unit, then we’ll see some really cool stuff from PowerPC from both camps me thinks ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

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