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View Full Version : Intel AND PPC - is this possible?


jeremy.king
Jun 5, 2005, 01:15 PM
I got to imagine this idea is not original and someone else may have posted it. With that said, I am wondering of the feasibility of the following idea.

If the Intel rumors are true and Apple is committed to migrating to an "proprietary" x86 CPU architecture - Is it technically possible to come up with a hybrid dual processor system with one Intel based CPU and one G5?

If so, this would allow the OS to route applications compiled on PPC to run on the PPC CPU, while the OS and applications that were recompiled (or newly developed) would run on the Intel proc? This would seemingly solve most the problems of an architecture change without the need for emulation, since "legacy" apps could still run on a new architecture. Obviously some sort of really intelligent controller mechanism would need to be engineered to route the appropriate CPU calls to the correct CPU. think of it like the old school Power macs with DOS cards without the overhead of another OS running. Obviously longer term would eventually phase out the hybrid DP system, replacing it with a dual Intel offering.

The closest analogy I could think of is Java - in that Java programs can call native libraries/system calls written in another language using JNI. Obviously the scope of a similar hardware based idea is much larger.

Thoughts? I am hoping the hardware uber-geeks can shed some light on this thought and if it may be technically possible.

combatcolin
Jun 5, 2005, 01:51 PM
I don't think you can do that.

Dual core works by duplicating some of the CPU, as it stands a Dual Core is about as powerful as 1 2/3 CPU.

Having 86 and PPC is like having an engine that has Petrol and Dielsel, far too complicated and expensive for very little gain.

I'm hoping than Intel, if the rumors are true, make a PPC chips, maybe licensed from IBM or Freescale (Nee Motorola)

jeremy.king
Jun 6, 2005, 08:52 AM
Not dual core...dual processor.

I see a significant gain. If you can keep the transition to x86 transparent to the users, then that is worth it.

combatcolin
Jun 6, 2005, 09:41 AM
Ah, i see what you mean now.

And, no, i don't think that would work.

Twice the price for half the power, not very appealing to paying customers.

Sun Baked
Jun 6, 2005, 09:44 AM
Well the change from the AMD MIPS processor in the next generation Airport is a possibility.

So is putting an Intel ARM processor in the next generation iPod or video iPod.

Either of which Intel is probably kicking themselves that Apple hasn't bitten yet.

But Intel in the PowerMac would be problematic for a lot developers wishing a "native" app, there will be a lot more problems than Virtual PC had on the G5.

VPC lost out when Apple went from biendian to a big endian chip -- one has to wonder how many endian neutral apps are out there if they do adopt a little endian chip.

jeremy.king
Jun 6, 2005, 01:12 PM
So much for this idea. cross-platform binaries, here we come!

bousozoku
Jun 6, 2005, 01:38 PM
Not dual core...dual processor.

I see a significant gain. If you can keep the transition to x86 transparent to the users, then that is worth it.

You should take a look in the history books at the Commodore SuperPET. It had a 6502, a 6809, and a Z80 in one machine.

jeremy.king
Jun 6, 2005, 02:06 PM
You should take a look in the history books at the Commodore SuperPET. It had a 6502, a 6809, and a Z80 in one machine.

I'll definitely read up on that. Funny, I used to play on a PET when I was in grade school. I was severly addicted to O'dell Lake.

Thanks for the info :D