The PowerPC 601

In 1993, AIM kicked off the PowerPC party by releasing the 32-bit PowerPC 601 at an initial speed of 66 MHz. The 601, which was based on IBM’s older RISC Single Chip (RSC) processor and was originally designed to serve as a “bridge” between POWER and PowerPC, combines parts of IBM’s POWER architecture with the 60x bus developed by Motorola for use with their 88000. As a bridge, the 601 supports a union of the POWER and PowerPC instruction sets, and it enabled the first PowerPC application writers to easily make the transition from the older ISA to the newer.


The term 32-bit may be unfamiliar to you at this point. If you’re curious about what it means, you might want to skip ahead and skim the chapter on 64-bit computing, Chapter 9 ...

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