PowerPC manufacturer IBM will detail a new entry in its PowerPC networking chip line including Gigabit Ethernet support backed up with hardware assistance for fast TCP/IP processing at the Embedded Processor Forum.

The IBM PowerPC 440GX takes off where the PowerPC 440GP (introduced earlier this year) leaves off, according to Kalpesh Gala, IBM’s product-marketing manager. The 440GX supports up to four 10/100Mbps (bit-per-second) Ethernet interfaces, or two 10/100/1000Mbps connections.

The 440GX can perform a number of roles in several types of end-product – such as SAN (storage-area network) devices, network-interfaces in servers, and small-office Internet gateways, Gala said. It is expected to begin shipping in sample quantities in the fourth-quarter, and in system-products next year.

A built-in TCP/IP acceleration-engine offloads packet-processing from the main part of the chip, allowing the 440GX to handle higher-throughput while still performing advanced functions.