Oberursel, February 25, 1997: phase 5 digital products is proud to announce the upcoming BLIZZARD 603e Power Board, a PowerPC-based accelerators for Amiga 1200 and A1200-based Tower Systems. With this innovative and powerful new accelerator a new dimension of performance is brought to the Amiga 1200, with performance increases of multiple times beyond the performance of the fastest 68k based accelerators available today, for a sensationally low price that is perfectly targeted at the A1200 upgrade market.
Primarily being designed as an upgrade board for existing Amiga systems, the BLIZZARD 603e Power Board incorporates phase 5's innovative dual-processor technologie, where a fast PowerPC RISC processor is combined with a 68k processor, in case of the BLIZZARD 603e Power Board a 68030 CPU. Both CPUs dynamically share the memory and system busses, what is necessary for a true multiprocessor behaviour. While the original AmigaOS 3.x continues to run on the 68030 CPU - as well as all existing applications do, what provides 100% compatibility - the PowerPC 603e CPU is supported by a comprehensive PPC Library developed by phase 5, which provides all functionality to integrate the PowerPC into the Amiga multitasking environment. Software developers can easily optimze their programs step by step by porting single tasks to PowerPC code, which then can run parallel with 68k tasks. Many important Amiga software vendors are preparing ported or optimized versions of their software packages already, so it is expected that a large quantity of software products supporting the PowerPC will be available soon.
The BLIZZARD 603e Power Board will be availabe with the fast PowerPC603e processor at a clock speed of 120 MHz; a socket is provided for the 68030 companion processor in a PGA housing. It provides a fast memory expansion option which uses standard PS/2 type SIMMs. The memory is dynamically shared by the two CPUs on the BLIZZARD 603e Power Board . As an option, as very inexpensive Fast SCSI-II controller will be available for the BLIZZARD 603e Power Board, which combines transfer rates of up to 10 MB/s with the flexibility and expandability of the SCSI standard.
With its 120 MHz 603e processor the BLIZZARD 603e Power Board provides - only on the PPC side - a raw performance of approximately 170 MIPS or approximately 3.5 SPECint95 and 2.8 SPECfp95 (estimations based on Motorola/IBM manufacturer specifications) - a blistering performance that can compete with most of the fastest PC systems available today. with this performance the BLIZZARD 603e Power Board is ready for the most demanding applications such as 3D rendering and high-speed 3D gameplaying, image manipulation, animation, video applications, and many other demanding applications that depend on fast CPU performance.
The BLIZZARD 603e Power Board will be delivered with a comprehensive software package, which includes the PPC library as well as tools for creative users, among them a Public Domain GNU C compiler for PowerPC (including sourcecode) and many demo programs and utilities with sourcecode; in addition to this software free developer support is available via the phase 5 FTP site. Last not least a PowerPC-optimized version of CyberGraphX V3 with RISC-optimized CyberGL/3D and MPEG functions and libraries is included (with a special GGX driver to support the AGA chipset) - of course with comprehensive documentation.
The BLIZZARD 603e Power Board will be selling for a price that can be called sensational, offering a superior price/performance relation. The suggested retail prices are as follows:
BLIZZARD 603e Power Board w/ 120 MHz 603e
DM 699,- / GBP 279.00 / USD 399.00
Note: All prices are recommended retail prices. English and german price include local VAT, the recommended US price does not include local taxes. The prices are without the 68030 CPU which is necessary to operate the BLIZZARD 603e Power Board. 68030 processors from existing processor boards can be used on the BLIZZARD 603e Power Board by pluging these into the provided socket. If you don't own a 68030 CPU already, ask you local dealer for an attractive bundle offer.
Registered owners of a Blizzard 68030 board will - within the PowerUp upgrade program - receive special, attractive upgrade offers by mail during March 97. The handling of these upgrades will be done via local appointed representatives.
The delivery of the BLIZZARD 603e Power Board is scheduled for late May 1997. Availability for the A1200 desktop system is depending on the finalization of the CE approvals until that date.