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Intel's i960® processor family is one of the broadest and most well-supported lines of 32-bit embedded microprocessors available. If you look inside some of the computer industry's most innovative products - rapid, high-resolution printers, high-speed networking equipment, or Intelligent I/O for subsystems-you are likely to find an i960 processor driving the application.

All members of the family share a common core architecture and newer members of the family are upwards-compatible with existing versions, so your software investment is always protected. The Solutions960(r) program brings together some of the most innovative tools suppliers in the industry so you can choose the right development tools to fit your needs and get you to market fast. And we even make it easy to determine which processor to choose: our common base evaluation board allows you to swap processor modules so you can run benchmarks on different processor versions without breaking your budget buying a stack of boards. Our Quikval evaluation kits also include sample code to get you started, a C compiler and demo copies of development tools for you to test drive.

Intelligent I/O Processor
The newest member of the i960 processor family, the 80960RP, is also the first product in a new line of Intelligent I/O processors from Intel known as the IQ Series. This highly integrated processor incorporates a complete PCI-based I/O subsystem including a DMA controller, memory controller, I2C interface, APIC interface, and a PCI-to-PCI bridge. The i960RP processor enables you to boost system throughput in servers by relieving the host CPU from the task of servicing I/O interrupts from attached peripheral devices such as storage systems and networking controllers.

I2O Software Specification
Industry leaders recently agreed upon a common specification for writing device drivers for computer systems that is independent of operating system and hardware. Companies that choose the I2O software specification will no longer need to struggle to write and obtain certification for every operating system on the market, but can write a single driver for them all. The i960RP processor is unique in that it includes a hardware messaging interface designed to support the I2O specification and ensure that the host CPU and I/O subsystems can communicate efficiently. To simplify the development task even further, every i960RP processor purchased includes a run-time license for Wind River Systems' IxWorks. This real-time operating system provides the object-oriented API called for in the I2O software specification and a comprehensive set of OS services, so that hardware developers only have to concern themselves with writing a device driver.

Networking and Imaging Solutions
If you design products for networking, imaging, or other high-performance embedded applications, then you will be interested in evaluating the superscalar members of the i960 processor family: the CA, CF, HA, HD and HT. Each of these processors is capable of executing multiple instructions in a single clock cycle and include features designed to boost performance, including large caches, 128-bit wide internal data paths, and high-bandwidth, non-multiplexed burst buses. Since limiting system clock speeds is often a concern for designers of embedded systems who can't afford to use SRAM in their systems, the H-series makes full use of Intel's clock-doubling and clock-tripling technology to deliver the advantages of high-speed processing while keeping the demand on memory systems in check.

Balancing System Cost and Performance
For mid-range designs, the J-series of i960 processors may be the perfect choice. The design of these scalar processors carefully balances performance with system cost. The caches are smaller than the superscalar members of the family and each of the J-series processors use a multiplexed bus. Advantages include lower power utilization, smaller board space requirements, and lower overall system implementation cost. The i960JA and i960JF processors offer the designer a choice in instruction and data cache size, while the i960JD processor uses clock doubling technology to boost processor performance while keeping memory bus speeds low.

Upgrading to 32-bit RISC
If you're seeking to upgrade your aging 16-bit design to 32-bit performance, but still have some tough cost constraints, perhaps you should consider moving up to the entry-level members of the i960 processor family. For under $10 (US suggested retail), the i960SA processor offers a full 32-bit internal RISC architecture with an on-chip interrupt controller and a multiplexed 16-bit external bus with burst operation to keep costs low. For higher throughput, the i960KA processor adds a 32-bit external bus. If floating-point performance is a consideration in your design, the i960SB and i960KB processor are worth a look. These two processors, found in many of the world's most popular video arcade games, include complete IEEE-compliant floating-point units on chip.

Please take some time and explore the many members of the i960 processor family. You will find complete data sheets on this web site along with application notes and other technical documents to help you learn more.

32-bit register-based RISC architecture with 32 registers Efficiency. Provides speed and simplicity of design at a low cost; processors available from about $10
Enhanced CISC-like instruction set optimized for embedded applications Simplicity. Programming is easier; improves high code density and performance
Standard interrupt controller automatically resolves priorities; local registers are automatically saved when a subroutine is called Rapid Response. Ideal for applications requiring fast response times
On-chip instruction caches standard on all processors Speed. Performance boosted by reducing external memory accesses to fetch instructions
On-chip data cache (Jx, Hx and CF processors) Performance. Reduces external memory accesses to fetch frequently accessed data
Unaligned big endian data access support (Cx, Jx and Hx processors) Efficiency. Handles a variety of data formats quickly and efficiently; eliminating the need for exception handling routines
High-performance data buses offer transfer rates of up to 160 MB per second Speed. Supports demanding data-intense applications
Object-code compatibility across the family Selection. Offers the ability to scale products across a wide range of price and performance levels while preserving existing software and minimizing development time
Code compatibility Compatibility Same instruction set from lowest to highest performance processor

i960® Processor Linecard

DeviceSpeed (MHz)3.3 Volt OperationData
Bus Width
Multiplexed BusInstruction CacheData CacheData RAMFPUGuarded
SuperscalarTimersDMAInterrupt ControllerPackage
80960SA10, 16, 20No16Yes512 bytesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesN, S
80960SB10, 16No16Yes512 bytesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesN, S
80960KA16, 20, 25No32Yes512 bytesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesA, NG
80960KB16, 20, 25No32Yes512 bytesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesA, NG
80960CA16, 25, 33No32No1 KbyteNo1 KbyteNoNoYesNoYesYesA, KU
80960CF16, 25, 33No32No4 Kbytes1 Kbyte1 KbyteNoNoYesNoYesYesA, KU
80960JA16, 25, 33No32Yes2 Kbytes1 Kbyte1 KbyteNoNoNo2 32-BitNoYesA, NG
80960JF16, 25, 33No32Yes4 Kbytes2 Kbytes1 KbyteYesNoNo2 32-BitNoYesA, NG
80L960JA16, 25Yes32Yes2 Kbytes1 Kbyte1 KbyteNoNoNo2 32-BitNoYesA, NG
80L960JF16, 25Yes32Yes4 Kbytes2 Kbytes1 KbyteYesNoNo2 32-BitNoYesA, NG
80960JD33/16, 50/25No32Yes4 Kbytes2 Kbytes1 KbyteNoNoNo2 32-BitNoYesA, NG
80960HA25, 33, 40Yes32No16 Kbytes8 Kbytes2 KbytesNoYesYes2 32-BitNoYesA, FC
80960HD33/16, 50/25, 66/33Yes32No16 Kbytes8 Kbytes2 KbytesNoYesYes2 32-BitNoYesA, FC
80960HT75/25Yes32No16 Kbytes8 Kbytes2 KbytesNoYesYes2 32-BitNoYesA, FC
80960RP33No 32PCI4 Kbytes2 Kbytes1 Kbyte NoNoNoYesYesYesFW

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