IBM has relaunched its PowerPC 750CXe microprocessor, this time for use in embedded computer systems – for example PDAs, Internet routers, modems or watches.

This chip is already in production, and is used by Apple at the heart of its 500 and 600MHz iMacs.

The PowerPC microprocessor was first announced last May, though enhancements have been made to the chip since. The 750CXe is compatible with 133MHz system buses, an improvement on the 100MHz bus supported when the chip was first announced. The G3 chip promises speeds up to 700MHz.

Processor integration "The family of PowerPC microprocessors provides an ideal combination of power and performance," said Dean Parker, PowerPC marketing manager, IBM Microelectronics. He added: "In the post-PC era, there is a growing emphasis on more than just processor frequency – integration, scalability and power efficiency are key. That's why PowerPC microprocessors are becoming the processors of choice under the covers of more and more high performance embedded systems."

While Apple CEO Steve Jobs may quail at a representative of AIM (Apple, IBM and Motorola) alliance member IBM discussing the "post-PC age" the truth remains that embedded processors form the majority of chip manufacturers' business.

IBM said: "The PowerPC 750CXe microprocessor is IBM's fastest embedded PowerPC processor and incorporates 256KB of high speed on-chip L2 cache, designed to enhance system performance, reduce system costs and avoid performance bottlenecks."

The chip integrates IBM's copper-based embedded chip technology which, IBM claims, "contributes to higher clock speeds and lower power consumption than competitive chip architectures". Samples are already available for speeds up to 600MHz, with 700MHz speed chips promised in April.