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Mr. MacPhisto
May 1, 2003, 02:09 PM
I've decided to post what I know about IBM's chip plans for the PPC and take some educated guesses as to how they relate to Apple.

Firstly, let me tell you why I know what I know. I have three good friends in the upper echelon of IBM. Two are in tech development positions of some kind, the other is in management. One is in Colorado, another in New York, and the last in North Carolina. I've gotten agreeing chip information from two of them. The third works in tech that doesn't involve chip manufacture. #3 has heard rumors, but hasn't been to official meeting or seen official documents.

Well, from what I understand, Apple came to IBM about two years ago requesting help because of Motorola's lack of interest in really building kick-butt processors for Apple. IBM agreed to help, although certain conditions were needed for this to happen. Most of this involved business related stuff and tech development costs, as well as some trade offs on technology developed by each company.

So, everyone knows about the 970 now, but there is also development on a new 750 based chip. There is already a 750 ready to go that is Altivec (I know, Moto terminology, just easier to know what it is that way) enhanced, can run with a FSB @ 400 or 450 MHZ with speeds up to 2GHZ. This is a modified 750fx, for all intents and purposes. These have been available for several months now, but Apple has not wanted them until now. It had to do with Apple's contractual obligations to Moto and the fact that they toast the G4 chip.

Apple is scheduled to have several palettes of these 750s (yes, up to 2 GHZ, lowest being 1.4) delivered to them in May. They also will have the 970s delivered to them @ speeds of 1.5 to 2.5. So, here's my educated guess:

The 970s now actually run more efficiently than when specs were announced, so that a high-end laptop could take a chip running at 1.8. I'm not sure if Apple will keep them all at 1.5 for power efficiency, but they may.

So, I think Apple introduces a completely revamped lineup in July. The iBooks and eMacs all use the 750 chip - iBooks running at 1.4, eMacs up to 2. The iMac may have a low-end model with this chip, and may be launched without the 970, giving the "Power" lineup a 3 to 6 month head start with the 970. I also don't think they'll call the 750 the G3. My bet is they may call it a Super G4 or a G4 Xtreme - something like that.

I see the PowerMacs getting an assortment of 970s, up to 2.5 with dual processor combos possible.

I think the 12" PB will get a 1.5 processor while the 15" PBs can get a 1.5 or 1.8 and the 17" comes with a 1.8

I think Apple may put 1MB of L3 on the 750 machines, 2MB on the PBs and PowerMacs. However, the PMs can take up to 4 - and it may be best for the laptops to only have 1.

I also know IBM is working on a 32bit new 750 based processor for Apple, so my guess is this will be used to delineate the iBook and eMac from the Power lineup. It may extend to the iMac too, but I'd guess a high-end iMac would have the 970.

And, now to the real kicker. Remember how I said that Apple had to make concessions to IBM? Well, one of them would allow IBM to manufacture and sell machines that ran Mac OS X - and would allow them sell it for servers, if a customer wanted it. This would not allow them to build laptops that ran the Mac OS, only desktop machines or servers.

ftaok
May 1, 2003, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by Mr. MacPhisto
And, now to the real kicker. Remember how I said that Apple had to make concessions to IBM? Well, one of them would allow IBM to manufacture and sell machines that ran Mac OS X - and would allow them sell it for servers, if a customer wanted it. This would not allow them to build laptops that ran the Mac OS, only desktop machines or servers. You had me up until the last paragraph.

I seriously doubt that Apple would allow anyone to build Mac OS X machines. Even IBM. Jobs is totally against clones, even if they are just desktops and servers.

The thing is this. Imagine if Apple hadn't shut down the clone operations completely. What if they had let Moto continue with the StarMax line? Basically, this is the situation that you're talking of here (except substitute IBM for Moto). Had Moto been allowed to continue building clones, they would have had a compelling reason to design and manufacture faster PPC chips.

The problem was that Moto's Macs were cheaper and faster than Apple's Macs at the time.

Flowbee
May 1, 2003, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Mr. MacPhisto


And, now to the real kicker. Remember how I said that Apple had to make concessions to IBM? Well, one of them would allow IBM to manufacture and sell machines that ran Mac OS X - and would allow them sell it for servers, if a customer wanted it. This would not allow them to build laptops that ran the Mac OS, only desktop machines or servers.

Is this your "educated guess" or is this based on real info from your friends?

QCassidy352
May 1, 2003, 03:34 PM
ok, that last paragraph aside for a moment... that's darn good news. I especially like the stuff about the 750. This is what I've been saying for a while now- that IBM has said that they could make a 2 ghz G3 but apple wasn't interested. A bus of 400-450 is way better than I thought though. Oh man I hope this is true and we see 1.4-2 ghz G3 ibooks (even if it's no longer called a G3). Who needs the G4... go straight IBM processors, high end G3s and 970s. Those would walk all over the current powerbook line, and would be at a "consumer" price (while the PBs would be even more amazing with 970s). Wow, hope it's true.

Sun Baked
May 1, 2003, 04:18 PM
The last paragraph would be a reverse of the big Apple AIX cube, and would be a darn good thing for Apple and IBM if Apple began supplying OS X (or the OS X interface) for IBM workstations and Servers.

Would also be nice to have the ability to run OS X on IBMs new 970 graphics workstation -- or if Apple would offer them like they did the Apple AIX cube (except with Apple OS and IBM inside).

Sol
May 1, 2003, 05:37 PM
My educated guess is that IBM would make 970 based computers pre-loaded with OS X Server, while Apple continues making the consumer and multimedia workstations.

Anyway, this IBM G4 mentioned in the post sounds like it could be the next generation iBook processor. By the way, this FSB at 400 MHz could make Apple computers seem one generation behind Windows PCs that run at 800 MHz. I am sure we will hear a lot more about this in the future, from both sides of the fence.

JPGR_Fan
May 1, 2003, 05:39 PM
This would not allow them to build laptops that ran the Mac OS, only desktop machines or servers.

Oh, it's the year of the laptop!

Reed Black
May 1, 2003, 06:07 PM
I hope this Mr. MacPHISTO is right. I believe that he is regarding everything. The same folks saying that Apple wouldnt allow OSX on an IBM station are the same people who said that there would NEVER BE A 17" powerbook and wa-laa its here. Besides the clone war is over, who knows Steve Jobs can change is billion dollor mind anytime he wants. Period.

About the names of the new powermac...WHO CARES!!! As long as I see a new machine from Apple this summer I dont care what they call it. They are pretty consistant with cool names so I dont care about that. What I do care about is a quality FAST A__ BOX that is well priced and plenty expandable. These are the most important factors for folks like me. (Film Industry types)

Anyway...sounds like good news above. Hope its true.

Reed Black

kylos
May 1, 2003, 06:10 PM
That's pretty detailed. I don't know if I'd give that much info if I was your friends. But I like hearing it nonetheless.

Catfish_Man
May 1, 2003, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by QCassidy352
ok, that last paragraph aside for a moment... that's darn good news. I especially like the stuff about the 750. This is what I've been saying for a while now- that IBM has said that they could make a 2 ghz G3 but apple wasn't interested. A bus of 400-450 is way better than I thought though. Oh man I hope this is true and we see 1.4-2 ghz G3 ibooks (even if it's no longer called a G3). Who needs the G4... go straight IBM processors, high end G3s and 970s. Those would walk all over the current powerbook line, and would be at a "consumer" price (while the PBs would be even more amazing with 970s). Wow, hope it's true.

4 pipeline stages, .13 micron process, 2GHz? Not gonna happen. It just isn't. 1GHz is pretty incredible for a chip of that design (The G4 could pass 500MHz until it got a 7 stage pipeline, the Pentium 4 needs 20 stages to hit 3.06GHz).

makkystyle
May 1, 2003, 06:30 PM
I just really hope that Apple is able to get these new processors into their machines over the summer. Not that I will be able to afford one, but it would be nice to have something to drool over. I'm mostly just pissed that Apple gets such a bad rap for it's machines/OS when the ONLY thing that really holds the machine back is the processor. It is just truly a shame that Apple got locked into such a sh**ty deal with Motorola. If they can get new FAST processors into the machines by the end of the year, I think it could do a lot to help boost Apple's market share. With the economy having been in bad shape for such a long period of time, especially in the tech sector, I think there will be heavy increases in consumer and professional tech investment come 2004. If Apple finally has products that can compete speed-wise, then there will be a lot of people taking a look because of OSX. My fingers will be crossed.

dornball
May 1, 2003, 06:33 PM
Sol,

The 800 Mhz FSB you speak of in PC's is a quad-pumped 200Mhz FSB. (200 x 4 = 800). If the new G3's from IBM have a 400 MHz, they could double-pump it and be rigth up there with wintel boxes.

-dornball

QCassidy352
May 1, 2003, 06:44 PM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
4 pipeline stages, .13 micron process, 2GHz? Not gonna happen. It just isn't. 1GHz is pretty incredible for a chip of that design (The G4 could pass 500MHz until it got a 7 stage pipeline, the Pentium 4 needs 20 stages to hit 3.06GHz).

I admit that i don't know much about the technical development of processors, but what leads you to belive that IBM couldn't/ wouldn't make the necessary adjustments? Is there a theoretical reason the process couldn't be refined (more stages, .09 micron) so that the chip would hit 2 ghz?

cb911
May 1, 2003, 07:15 PM
that all sounds good. if Apple really had to let IBM produce desktops and workstations that ran OS X, then i reckon that the 970 is important enough to them the let IBM go ahead and use OS X.

what if Apple dropped the XServe, or didn't put as much development into it? then IBM would be able to focus on the server market while Apple would make kick-ass laptops and PowerMacs.


a release in July would mean an announcement at WWDC wouldn't it? oh well, i'm still hoping for that. :D

Catfish_Man
May 1, 2003, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by QCassidy352
I admit that i don't know much about the technical development of processors, but what leads you to belive that IBM couldn't/ wouldn't make the necessary adjustments? Is there a theoretical reason the process couldn't be refined (more stages, .09 micron) so that the chip would hit 2 ghz?

.09 micron is certainly possible (although not right now. IBM doesn't have their .09 micron manufacturing plant done yet). I'd say they could hit <= 1.5GHz on .09 micron (When the Pentium 4 went from .18 to .13 the clock frequency went from <=2GHz to <= 3.06GHz, or about a 1.5X increase). Extra pipeline stages doesn't fit with the idea of it being only a modified 750fx. Altivec, a new bus, and a redesigned execution core (longer pipelines is not a trivial change) is a whole new chip, not a minor modification. That's more difference than going from Pentium Pro to Pentium 3 (P Pro, P2, and P3 all used the "P6" core).

andrewlandry
May 1, 2003, 07:48 PM
if it's true, it would be good for Apple. People will buy anything from IBM. IBM's endorsement and promotion could seriously expand Apple's marketshare which would mean more developers working on os x applications and companies making hardware for mac etc.

QCassidy352
May 1, 2003, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
.09 micron is certainly possible (although not right now. IBM doesn't have their .09 micron manufacturing plant done yet). I'd say they could hit <= 1.5GHz on .09 micron (When the Pentium 4 went from .18 to .13 the clock frequency went from <=2GHz to <= 3.06GHz, or about a 1.5X increase). Extra pipeline stages doesn't fit with the idea of it being only a modified 750fx. Altivec, a new bus, and a redesigned execution core (longer pipelines is not a trivial change) is a whole new chip, not a minor modification. That's more difference than going from Pentium Pro to Pentium 3 (P Pro, P2, and P3 all used the "P6" core).

Hmm, so are you saying then that the original post claiming that the new chip will be a "modified 750fx" cannot be true? That is, to make the changes listed, it would simply be a different chip? And if that's the case, then the new chips could hit 2 ghz, couldn't they? I mean, they'd be all new... we really wouldn't know anything about them.

mstecker
May 1, 2003, 08:29 PM
Remember that when the NeXT was first announced, it was announced that IBM had bought a license to the OS, NeXTStep (proper capitalization for the time), and that NeXTStep was going to be an option on AIX machines. They got as far as a beta off of the NS1.0 code, but when NeXTStep jumped to 2.0, they didn't follow and the project was cancelled.

This doesn't mean much, but it may provide some backing to the premsie that SJ would allow high-end IBM products to use his OS.

Mr. MacPhisto
May 1, 2003, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by Sol
My educated guess is that IBM would make 970 based computers pre-loaded with OS X Server, while Apple continues making the consumer and multimedia workstations.

Anyway, this IBM G4 mentioned in the post sounds like it could be the next generation iBook processor. By the way, this FSB at 400 MHz could make Apple computers seem one generation behind Windows PCs that run at 800 MHz. I am sure we will hear a lot more about this in the future, from both sides of the fence.

Yes, but the 970s will have a 900 MHZ bus. And I doubt that Wintel notebooks will have an 800MHZ bus. My bet is the PBs will sport a 450MHZ bus that is not double pumped, like on the PMs. Remember too that hypertransport may be coming to Apple via AMD.

Mr. MacPhisto
May 1, 2003, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
4 pipeline stages, .13 micron process, 2GHz? Not gonna happen. It just isn't. 1GHz is pretty incredible for a chip of that design (The G4 could pass 500MHz until it got a 7 stage pipeline, the Pentium 4 needs 20 stages to hit 3.06GHz).

Never said it WAS the 750FX, I said it was modified. I would guess the pipeline was lengthened, but I don't no to what. All I know is there is a 750 chip that can hit 2GHZ @ .13 and will hit near 3GHZ at .09. The 750FX can hit 1GHZ with a 200 MHZ FSB. This chip doesn't have the same specs - so it may really may be a modified Moto 745x processor in reality with a 7 stage pipeline. IBM is ratcheting up the MHZ because that's what Apple wants, but I know they can build more efficient chips than Intel, especially with their well developed RISC design capabilities - so they should be able to reach 3GHZ with 10 stages or less. Remember, Intel is also compensating for crappy x86 architecture that is light years behind the PPC. Why do you think they went RISC with Itanium?

Mr. MacPhisto
May 1, 2003, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by Flowbee
Is this your "educated guess" or is this based on real info from your friends?

This is real - and not just limited to servers. It also doesn't mean Apple is once again licensing clones.

Thing is, IBM would really like OS X for their servers over Linux because it's more controllable - not completely OpenSource. They also would get a kickback from Apple for every server that slapped it on. Apple should like this if they're smart, because having IBM use your OS as its OS of choice goes a long way to establishing your credibility in a business market. It also gives IBM something that others can't offer on a server - power and user-friendliness.

As to manufacturing desktops, this comes from IBM wanting to be a one-stop shop. They'd like to sell the servers and sell some smart terminals for them - and avoid having to deal with MS. As it stands, Apple is much friendlier to IBM and really needs them and appreciates them. MS screwed them over and essentially has shafted them several times over the year - including on OS/2 and there partnership there. Besides, IBM knows an OS X workstation would be far more reliable, user-friendly, and stable than most Windows clients - and they could make them cheaply since they manufacture the chips inside the machines.

IBM will not attack the consumer market and will not get in a price war with Apple. They will start offering machines with an Apple & IBM logo sometime next year to the consumer market at a good price, but I'm told it'll be equal to Apple's pretty much, but will give consumers more options. Apple will get a % of profit from all sales that is yet to be determined.

I personally think Apple will gradually cut their prices to get more in line with PCs. With iLife they certainly do have a reason to charge a bit more, but not much. But if the iTunes Music Store turns out to be a big success, then Apple will have another source of revenue - and that, hopefully, should allow them to reduce their margins. Plus, if they push these new machines and increase their own sales while having IBM place the MacOS in the business world, then they may not need the hefty margins any more. Thing is, Apple needs to increase its share of the market. They will have IBM manufacturing prowess on their side, so they may be able to make a strong push.

And as for posting this much info, it won't give anyone away. A lot of people in each facility these guys work in know about it because they've been working on the technology. A lot of people in management know this to, because it relates to IBMs business strategy.

Gyroscope
May 1, 2003, 10:58 PM
Never said it WAS the 750FX, I said it was modified. I would guess the pipeline was lengthened, but I don't no to what. All I know is there is a 750 chip that can hit 2GHZ @ .13 and will hit near 3GHZ at .09. The 750FX can hit 1GHZ with a 200 MHZ FSB. This chip doesn't have the same specs - so it may really may be a modified Moto 745x processor in reality with a 7 stage pipeline. IBM is ratcheting up the MHZ because that's what Apple wants, but I know they can build more efficient chips than Intel, especially with their well developed RISC design capabilities - so they should be able to reach 3GHZ with 10 stages or less. Remember, Intel is also compensating for crappy x86 architecture that is light years behind the PPC. Why do you think they went RISC with Itanium?

Hold on a sec. boy!

Itanium is not RISC design. Its quite on the oposite end of it.
VLWIS. Very Large Word Instruction Set. Dude it makes me mucho suspicious about your postings here ;)

Catfish_Man
May 1, 2003, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by Gyroscope
Hold on a sec. boy!

Itanium is not RISC design. Its quite on the oposite end of it.
VLWIS. Very Large Word Instruction Set. Dude it makes me mucho suspicious about your postings here ;)

Actually VLIW (Very Large Instruction Word, or, as Intel calls it, EPIC, Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing) is to RISC what RISC is to CISC. Putting even more pressure on the compiler to take stuff off the chip (in this case, out of order execution).

As for the 2GHz 750, IBM is certainly capable of making a chip that fast (although I would guess it would be similar in pipeline depth to the 970 to hit 2GHz, so around 14-15 stages), I just can't see why they're calling it a 750 (or why they're making it in the first place. Apple can't be their only customer for it). 750s are G3s. This thing, whatever it is, is definitely not a G3 by any usual definition (Once you've changed the execution core, bus interface, and added a SIMD unit, what's left to change?). The other problem is targetting such a chip. At 2GHz, with the added execution units, it's not going to be anywhere near the 3.6 watts the current 750FX draws, so it'll have to target a different market. It's certainly not high enough end for servers (especially if they keep the G3's limited multiprocessing capabilities), so there only seems to be one market left. AFAICT, that market (Apple/Blade Servers/Workstations) is served more than adequately by the PowerPC 970. I just can't see where IBM would be headed with a chip like this.

Also, Intel's chips are basically RISC chips with a translator stuck on the front. IBM has a slightly more advanced manufacturing process (silicon on insulator), but also relies heavily on automated design (for POWER4/970 anyway) which gets slightly worse performance. I seriously can't see how IBM is "light years" ahead of Intel. I would say, "inches", or perhaps even "meters", but not light years.

Lastly, the 745x series is Moto's property. I would be greatly surprised if Moto were to sell IBM the chip that's been causing IBM so much pain in the high end embedded market. If they did, though, it might be fairly interesting.

Sun Baked
May 1, 2003, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
I just can't see where IBM would be headed with a chip like this. If you can keep 1 important feature of the G3 intact, you'd end up with a G4 replacement with the power saving features of the G3.

Which would make the chip a good replacement for power sensitive applications where G4s are used. Sort of attacking Motorola's G4 market.

While not as miserly as a low power G3, it may make people think twice when compare to a power sucking G4.

Gyroscope
May 1, 2003, 11:49 PM
Yeah thanks for correction Cat_Fish

VLIW is right. :)

Mr. MacPhisto
May 2, 2003, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
Actually VLIW (Very Large Instruction Word, or, as Intel calls it, EPIC, Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing) is to RISC what RISC is to CISC. Putting even more pressure on the compiler to take stuff off the chip (in this case, out of order execution).

As for the 2GHz 750, IBM is certainly capable of making a chip that fast (although I would guess it would be similar in pipeline depth to the 970 to hit 2GHz, so around 14-15 stages), I just can't see why they're calling it a 750 (or why they're making it in the first place. Apple can't be their only customer for it). 750s are G3s. This thing, whatever it is, is definitely not a G3 by any usual definition (Once you've changed the execution core, bus interface, and added a SIMD unit, what's left to change?). The other problem is targetting such a chip. At 2GHz, with the added execution units, it's not going to be anywhere near the 3.6 watts the current 750FX draws, so it'll have to target a different market. It's certainly not high enough end for servers (especially if they keep the G3's limited multiprocessing capabilities), so there only seems to be one market left. AFAICT, that market (Apple/Blade Servers/Workstations) is served more than adequately by the PowerPC 970. I just can't see where IBM would be headed with a chip like this.

Also, Intel's chips are basically RISC chips with a translator stuck on the front. IBM has a slightly more advanced manufacturing process (silicon on insulator), but also relies heavily on automated design (for POWER4/970 anyway) which gets slightly worse performance. I seriously can't see how IBM is "light years" ahead of Intel. I would say, "inches", or perhaps even "meters", but not light years.

Lastly, the 745x series is Moto's property. I would be greatly surprised if Moto were to sell IBM the chip that's been causing IBM so much pain in the high end embedded market. If they did, though, it might be fairly interesting.

I know Intel started from a RISC design when they put Itanium together. Honestly, I haven't read much on the chip because I haven't cared about it. Had they released it two years ago, as they had intended, I likely would have cared a lot more.

I should have clarified on the Moto bit. I meant to imply a stretching of the pipeline since the 745x has a 7 stager, I think. They did modify that, including extending the pipeline - and it was still a G4 by Apple's standards.

And I would say IBM is light years ahead of Intel. Wanna know why? They've driven the 970 up to 4.2 GHZ at .13. It's too hot for anything but a well cooled, large-cased tower - but it can run without burning up or causing fires. Remember, IBM is ahead in the copper game, giving them a more efficient means of transferring heat energy, etc. They're architecture is also more advanced. To say that IBM is only meters ahead of a chip that is running on a 20 year old architecture is ludicrous. Yes, I know the x86 design has been modified - but only so much.

I'll also admit to not being the chip nut and understanding every detail. My brother is much better at it than I - he's got the Computer Engineering degree and designs stuff. He's a PC guy and likes Intel, but has openly said that IBM is far superior at building chips and making them more efficient.

I do know IBM has a 750 chip running at 2 GHZ that will go to 3 at .09. I'm only guessing the pipeline has been changed. I know the FSB speed has been. Even I know that a chip running with 4 stages @ 2 GHZ isn't gonna happen - although it would make Intel look bad if IBM were able to find a way to make a 4 stager running that fast - and making it cool.

I do know the 1.5 is designed for laptops & that it draws slightly more than the 900 MHZ chip in the new iBook. You think Intel could make a 900MHZ chip with 4 stages and make it power efficient and cool like IBM has? I don't think they could do it in their dreams. I also don't know if it'll still ne called a 750. I do know they started with the 750FX and went from there and have been working on this thing for a year.

I admit to not having all the tech data on these things, but I'm confident that you'll get to see it sometime in the summer.

conceptdev
May 2, 2003, 12:14 AM
Having OSX available for servers for IBM makes sense right now in light of there current lawsuit with SCO. Sure the SCO suit is nonsense but it never hurts to have another platform available and it makes a nice redunancy for them.

type_r503
May 2, 2003, 12:55 AM
This is inline with the lawsuit rumors. If apple is going to cut all ties with MOT they will need to replace the G4.

I would have trouble believing IBM would let an outside source develop their OS after what happened to them with MS and Intel. With the huge investment they have made into opensource I don't think they are wanting more control over linux. Besides the fact OSX is free without the GUI, which is what servers use anyways. IBM really doesn't need apple's permission, they could simply use darwin + x11.

macrumors12345
May 2, 2003, 01:11 AM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
As for the 2GHz 750, IBM is certainly capable of making a chip that fast (although I would guess it would be similar in pipeline depth to the 970 to hit 2GHz, so around 14-15 stages),.

Not saying I believe this stuff (though certainly I would like to, but it just sounds too good to be true!), but in all fairness, the Athlon XP has clocked well past 2 Ghz on a .13 micron process, and it has "only" a 10 stage pipeline (I think it almost hit 1.8 Ghz on a .18 micron process). It is a significantly hotter and more complex chip than the 750, and IBM's process technology is certainly better than AMD's, no? So while I would not suggest that the current 750 w/a 4 stage pipeline could hit 2 Ghz on .13 micron, I would be shocked if IBM "needed" a 14-15 stage pipeline to reach 2 Ghz. Heck, even sorry old Moto is planning to hit almost 2 Ghz with the 7-stage 7457 on a .13 micron process. You're telling my IBM can't even design as good a chip as Motorola? Please.

Grimace
May 2, 2003, 01:17 AM
Throwing all of those things out on the market during the summer would be suicide. Companies don't just switch everything all at once. G4s aren't going to just disappear. 970s may be introduced, but there will not be a magical switch. Even if the technology is there, it doesn't make sense to flood the market and kill your stock.

type_r503
May 2, 2003, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by carletonmusic
Throwing all of those things out on the market during the summer would be suicide. Companies don't just switch everything all at once. G4s aren't going to just disappear. 970s may be introduced, but there will not be a magical switch. Even if the technology is there, it doesn't make sense to flood the market and kill your stock.

Yeah that 2% market share can really wait. What we should be looking for is the tell tale eof. The reduction in stock and the unavailibilty of current products.

macrumors12345
May 2, 2003, 01:37 AM
Originally posted by Sol
y the way, this FSB at 400 MHz could make Apple computers seem one generation behind Windows PCs that run at 800 MHz. I am sure we will hear a lot more about this in the future, from both sides of the fence.

Why are you comparing what would be their low end chip (in this scenario) with Intel's highest end chip? You should be comparing it to Celeron, or possibly Banias (aka Pentium-M aka Centrino). Both have quad pumped 100 mhz buses. It would toast the Celeron, and certainly be very competitive with Centrino (but really Centrino would be competing with the PB 970 in the scenario put forward by Mr. MacPhisto, whom, I must say, will in a few months either be seen as the Mac rumor god or lose all credibility forever!).

OlorintheJedi
May 2, 2003, 03:55 AM
--------------------------------------------------
I believe the last paragraph

Remember that when the NeXT was first announced, it was announced that IBM had bought a license to the OS, NeXTStep (proper capitalization for the time), and that NeXTStep was going to be an option on AIX machines. They got as far as a beta off of the NS1.0 code, but when NeXTStep jumped to 2.0, they didn't follow and the project was cancelled.

This doesn't mean much, but it may provide some backing to the premsie that SJ would allow high-end IBM products to use his OS.
--------------------------------------------------

I've never posted before - in fact, I just registered in order to respond to this post. I occasionally browse this site - great site overall.

Steve Job's relationship with IBM goes back to 1988. He has been open to porting his OS to IBM systems in the past.

From 1981-1988 I worked for IBM (I've been out of the computer industry since 1992). I was part of the lead technical team for the RS6000 RISC family of processors and systems and for AIX.

In 1988 IBM and Steve initiated serious discussions about porting the NeXTStep user interface to AIX. IBM was looking to purchase a state of the art user interface. I had multiple meetings with Steve, Bud Tribble, Avi Tevanian, and the NeXT crew. Steve was eager to convince IBM to port the entire NeXTStep OS and eliminate AIX altogether, and aggressively pushed that option. IBM was the one resistant to this, as they had invested a lot into AIX at that point, and weren't sold on the Mach technology.

Based on this history, I don't think it's entirely ludicrous to suppose that Apple might consider porting OS X to IBM RISC systems. I have no idea if their actually considering doing this - I don't have many close contacts after 15 years - but I don't think it's out of the question. As long as it's a controlled relationship (as opposed to clones) and doesn't directly compete with Apple's line, it makes some sense.

cb911
May 2, 2003, 05:12 AM
OlorintheJedi, welcome to the forums. :) thanks for posting that info. now the idea of Apple licensing OS X to IBM seems not as rediculous.

Mr. MacPhisto
May 2, 2003, 05:14 AM
Originally posted by type_r503
This is inline with the lawsuit rumors. If apple is going to cut all ties with MOT they will need to replace the G4.

I would have trouble believing IBM would let an outside source develop their OS after what happened to them with MS and Intel. With the huge investment they have made into opensource I don't think they are wanting more control over linux. Besides the fact OSX is free without the GUI, which is what servers use anyways. IBM really doesn't need apple's permission, they could simply use darwin + x11.

Note sure this is true. If I recall, Darwin and OS X were built off of BSD Unix which is not entirely open-source. As long as proper credit is given, modifications become proprietary. Thus, you would have to license Darwin from Apple. Could be wrong on this one, but I believe that's correct. And Apple is certainly capable of creating a disc that could install the GUI or leave it out - completely at user discretion.

And, as someone mentioned, IBM has been having problems with SCO. It's not to say that IBM would abandon Linux, it just wouldn't be their preferred install.

MisterMe
May 2, 2003, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by Mr. MacPhisto
Note sure this is true. If I recall, Darwin and OS X were built off of BSD Unix which is not entirely open-source. As long as proper credit is given, modifications become proprietary. Thus, you would have to license Darwin from Apple. Could be wrong on this one, but I believe that's correct. And Apple is certainly capable of creating a disc that could install the GUI or leave it out - completely at user discretion.

And, as someone mentioned, IBM has been having problems with SCO. It's not to say that IBM would abandon Linux, it just wouldn't be their preferred install. Actually, Darwin is open source. It is just not the GPL. There is nothing to stop anyone from releasing a computer based on Darwin. Apple explicitly supports Darwin on x86. Presumeably, you can port it to Alpha, HP-PA, Itanium, MIPS, UltraSPARC, or whatever. The only thing that you cannot do is sell the proprietary MacOS X layer.

I have no idea if the original post is correct or not. However, my gut tells me that this is the way to go for Apple to extend MacOS X beyond its own hardware. A lot of the children who post here whine that Apple should go downmarket to x86 and clones with MacOS X. I would argue that it should go upmarket. Imagine if MacOS X were running on the workstations, servers, and clusters from the likes of SGI, IBM, and Sun. Apple would gain enormously from having its OS drive hardware of unquestioned reputation. The upmarket vendors gain access to the plethora of MacOS applications as well as the best UI in the business. What is more, they don't steal any of Apple's sales, but everyone gains. The Wintel weenies could shout that they play the latest shoot 'em up game. Mac users could retort that MacOS X just beat Kaparov in the latest computer human chess match or simulated the ignition of the USA's latest nuclear munition.

dstorey
May 2, 2003, 09:34 AM
I think that I'd love to see the link with Big Blue to come true...providing there were some controls in place to protect one of Apples key strength's - control over hardware and software that means they can push through whatever they want. This makes Apples almost like a console in some respects as they can garentee software and accessories will work on a certain generation of Apples.

What I'd like to see is a consortium of trusted partners that can licence OS X and become Mac compatible. These trusted partners would have to have regular meetings to flesh out the Mac direction, pref with Apple having a veto vote. This would be to say for eg all consumer desktops will have at least firewire, USB 1.1, a DVD drive and a processor at x Ghz and so on. Of course the partner could add specs to this to add value or customise their line (maybe with a ceiling spec so they didn't cross over to the next line such as the prof line). If this was in place then Apple would have no problem releasing say an iPod device as they'd know every one of their target audience had the technology to run it just like now. Maybe some design rules would be laid down too, like beige banned ;) . Apple would have to choose carefully who joined to make sure things ran smoothly. I would like to see IBM cause they would bring respect to the business and server market and apple wouldn't lose any market share there as they don't have much anyway so to speak so thats a near enough win win partner...and likely if the previous posts are to be belived. Maybe Sun would be a good partner for the business market too and a useful allie with them controlling Java and having a lot of server tool experience...just what OS X server needs. Next SGI like someone mentioned before would be good as it brings in high end graphics sales that Apple hasn't focused on as yet and gives a bigger market for Shake and FCP to be marketed to. Lastly I'd really love to see Sony on board. There have been many rumours of sony talking to Apply and it just seems so misplaced seeing M$ on a sony product, especially when their pdas use palm instead of windows ce. Their computers have a way to go yet but they are probably some of the most stylish PC's around and they are one of the few pc's that come with firewire (iLink)...and with sony liking to use different technology to everyone else (think different?) then using a different os like OS X would be ideal. sony are also very like Apple in that they have a big fan base that stick by rthem, so i could see a hoard of snny fans switching to mac if there was a Sony Mac. It could also help sell more powerbooks as well if all the sony heads used macs and saw how cool the powerbook was and needed a laptop as it would be compatible with their sony desktops. Plus all those cool sony toys would come firstly with mac software so all their camera, aibo's etc would work better on than the pc world...and their hifi's could conect to itunes to stream content to your living room and giga pocket would move to mac and allow your sony tv to connect to a mac. Pihilips may also be a good partner. I can't see it hitting Apples sales too badly as most company's mantioned aim for a different market to apple except maybe sony but the benifits of sony on board, for brand value alone would be huge and sony would brobably focus on consumer only while leaving Apples strong hand to be in creative profs and education as always and the iMac could compete well with sony anyway. Imagine IBM, Sony and possibly SUn, and SGI all running mac os x, it would be hard for them to be ignored much longer and the revenue from os x licencing would be pretty big anyway. Ok i'm a dreamer...but some of the best business ideas have been dreams.

Wyrm
May 2, 2003, 09:44 AM
Re: IBM and OS X
Actually this makes some crazy sense if Apple really wants to enter the business market. People laugh now at the suggestion of installing an Apple XServe - unless you have a graphics dept. that already uses Macs. IBM on the other hand would get serious consideration in almost every industry - then XServes as support, dev, and backup would be a shoe-in. If IBM supports the XServes and XRaid - and even the regular lines, then you may see more businesses open to ditching some of their win32 machines. That <5% market share is pretty much 0% in the office.

Re: Fab technology
I wouldn't say IBM is miles ahead, but it is generally agreed that their Fishkill NY Fab is the most advanced in the world right now. Whether or not they can deliver high-volume, high-yield on the 970 or anything remains to be seen. I think they need a yield of only a few POWER4 chips a wafer to make a profit, but if the 970 is going to be affordable I think the rule of thumb target is a 60% yield - and that's well over 100 chips at 300mm. Cross our fingers this thing can be made in volume, otherwise we might have a traditional Apple announcement with product shipping... eventually. ;)

-Wyrm

Grimace
May 2, 2003, 10:15 AM
IBM is about as solid as the whole wintel industry right now so any partnership with Apple is only going to help. Breaching the corporate sector is going to be tough - but it's like a domino effect when it goes well. (Fewer tech support staff means better cost efficiency!)

dstorey
May 2, 2003, 11:14 AM
A couple of things about a IBM Mac -

There is an age old saying - 'No one gets sacked for buying IBM' so this would take much of the preceived resk out of buying Mac (though maybe not apple in the short term).

Dell the number one retailer of IBM and campatible PC's. IBM make Mac & compatible machines, not IBM...that would confuse people big time ;)...its an IBM but its not.... though of course they wouldn't stop selling PC's, only add OS X to their power pc line...which makes huge sence as the architecture isn't x86 anyway and quite closely related to mac anyway with the same brain, and its still unix so its not as if they need whole new software, just recompile for unix apps, which probs already have been as part of x11 or the fink project i guess.

BenRoethig
May 2, 2003, 12:37 PM
Mr. MacPhisto, I'm going to be honest, I'm a bit skeptical. I have nothing against you, but99.9% of the I heard it from my friend at (insert company name here) turns out to be false. However, what you say does make a lot of sense. Apple needs a new processor badly. IBM has the capability to build such a processor and since it's a PowerPC, Apple does not have to change the architecture to incorporate it. IBM wants a user friendly unix based operating system for its servers and workstations. Apple has one that works on PowerPCs for sure and could be modifed to work on Power and perhaps even IBM's x86 machines. Apple and IBM are strong on different segments of the market. Apple's bread and butter has always been home computers and education. IBM is the king of business. Apple also gets a big help in the marketing department. With IBM branded PowerMacs (MacVista?), Macs will be available from even more dealers. The sales of these machines shouldn't effect Apple negatively since in all likelihood they would be purchased instead of a windows machine. Also, Apples sales are mostly in low and medium range PCs and portable and most Mac users will stay loyal and buy Apple.

wms121
May 2, 2003, 01:06 PM
do you think IBM might consider working with Apple to write a
"brand new OS"...something like Taligent was supposed to have been?

Several sources at IBM I know of want to go 'beyond the VM situation'..and leave Sun hanging with Java. Something like a "complete server a.i. implemenatation"..that could use its Zos
or even Doug Lenat's OPENCYC more efficiently. Multiple os's on a
single chip..or complete system emulation...like say a 256 bit chip..
say Transmeta's TM8000 running 3 small footprint high availability systems..and a major human GUI for porting in and out .

MacOSX with a Plan 9 mini-kernal..plus a souped up Java VM..or
even VS..would be nice. Have you seen some of the "LCARS crazyness" going on a bennisoft? http://www.bennisoft.com

We are going to get SOMEONE to write us a 21st century system..complete with the a.i. promised back in the late seventies
(remember the Lisa box..it was supposed to have had an "intelligent explorer chip"..that was just a simple search engine..but who knew?

Yes..please tell IBM we "embedded people" want a 970 chip wired into a MPC 7540, 7550, or 7560...with Infiniband 12X, 32X
or 64X when it comes down the road.

<--no longer drools at MOto's web page...

Supa_Fly
May 2, 2003, 01:48 PM
First off I disagree that IBM would "want" to use Apples OS X for another operating system to their Windows or Linux. They have spent so many billions of $$ and the last 3 years developing, supporting and manufacturing systems based on Linux to bother with Apples OS.

Currently, until Intel completes their manufacturing of their CPU plant in the China or is it the Phillipeans then right now IBM is ahead of Intel in terms of manufacturing & shipping of CPUs to clients.

Next Apple definately needs this PowerPC4/970 cpu more than ever. Hopefully They also will be smart in using a 6.4Gb/sec bus throughout the MOBO for higher PCI memory and HDD connections.

If the next iteration of the PowerMac has a 970 CPU and NO HyperTransport between bus connections then I'll wait till they do!!!! no point if I cant connect 4 Serial ATA/150 or ATA/300 (MBps) HDD into my PowerMac. If the XServe does then they'll be game.

Apple needs to work more closely with AMD--HyperTransport licenses, IBM MOBO design & chip design, Seagate--Serial ATA HDD.....to improve overall performance of their systems. ALso current rumors suggest that Panther will be a 64-bit OS!!!

Mr. MacPhisto
May 2, 2003, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by BenRoethig
Mr. MacPhisto, I'm going to be honest, I'm a bit skeptical. I have nothing against you, but99.9% of the I heard it from my friend at (insert company name here) turns out to be false. However, what you say does make a lot of sense. Apple needs a new processor badly. IBM has the capability to build such a processor and since it's a PowerPC, Apple does not have to change the architecture to incorporate it. IBM wants a user friendly unix based operating system for its servers and workstations. Apple has one that works on PowerPCs for sure and could be modifed to work on Power and perhaps even IBM's x86 machines. Apple and IBM are strong on different segments of the market. Apple's bread and butter has always been home computers and education. IBM is the king of business. Apple also gets a big help in the marketing department. With IBM branded PowerMacs (MacVista?), Macs will be available from even more dealers. The sales of these machines shouldn't effect Apple negatively since in all likelihood they would be purchased instead of a windows machine. Also, Apples sales are mostly in low and medium range PCs and portable and most Mac users will stay loyal and buy Apple.

You don't have to apologize for being skeptical.

Anyhow, also remember Apple's user-friendliness. IBM is not known for being great in that dept. I worked on OS/2 inside the company (not developing it, although I did interact with those guys) and nobody on that team could have come up with the ease-of-use stuff that Apple has. Installers were troublesome, drivers were a pain to install. Shame too, cause I still prefer the WorkPlace Shell over any GUI interface. Point is, IBM thinks Apple can help them gain more marketshare in the server and consumer market. The consumer market isn't a big deal to IBM, but it would allow them to make money and kick MS in the teeth - just like they feel MS did to them when they took 3.0 (which was a scaled down OS/2 that IBM allowed MS to hold licenses to) and abandoned IBM to pursue NT and 9x stuff instead. The threats of overcharging if IBM still made OS/2 didn't endear MS to IBM either.

So, IBM thinks it has a strong partner in Apple. Ironic, huh? Seeing as IBM designed the PC to steal the market away from Apple, which dominated with the Apple ][ series until Big Blue laid down its hand.

And as someone else did say, IBM gives Mac big business credibility. It will no longer be just for artists, kids, teachers, etc. Apple will finally improve the overall image. Apple gives IBM a partner that can simplify, innovate, and improve on IBM's own products. Both these companies feel they can work together in a mutually beneficial atmosphere - and with IBM being able to build Mac OS machines, it gives IBM some incentive to continue to work on chips more than Moto ever did.

pgwalsh
May 2, 2003, 03:43 PM
I think IBM shipping OS X in hardware is a great idea. When Apple gets more acceptance in the IT market they'll grow there PC business. I think OS X should be licensed to other OEM's too..

Apple can stick to the iBook, aiBook, iMac and eMac. Let other's compete in the PowerMac market. The first three models appeal because they are great looking products. The iMac being the most unusual of all.. Apple needs market share and I think OS X can give them the market, but they need competition in the hardware area, even if it's to keep Apple in check.

I know many disagree as past experience has show the opposite, but I think we all learn from are mistakes. They first need to establish themselves in the business market with servers. Then they can license the consumer market as it will make sense to do so to gain a larger foothold.

Note:
The threat of MS taking OfficeX off the market may be a deterrent to license OS X in the beginning. If the document application becomes a reality and when OpenOffice for OS X becomes a public release, apple will have more room to play with MS.

BenRoethig
May 2, 2003, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by pgwalsh
I think IBM shipping OS X in hardware is a great idea. When Apple gets more acceptance in the IT market they'll grow there PC business. I think OS X should be licensed to other OEM's too..

Apple can stick to the iBook, aiBook, iMac and eMac. Let other's compete in the PowerMac market. The first three models appeal because they are great looking products. The iMac being the most unusual of all.. Apple needs market share and I think OS X can give them the market, but they need competition in the hardware area, even if it's to keep Apple in check.

I know many disagree as past experience has show the opposite, but I think we all learn from are mistakes. They first need to establish themselves in the business market with servers. Then they can license the consumer market as it will make sense to do so to gain a larger foothold.

The threat of MS taking OfficeX off the market may be a deterrent to license OS X in the beginning. If the document application becomes a reality and when OpenOffice for OS X becomes a public release, apple will have more room to play with MS.

Too much market saturation is a bad thing. If IBM wants to put out a tower, let them. However, I wouldn't bring the clones back until Macs are around 15-20% of PC sales. Even then I'd limit it no more than two or three licensees other than IBM.

pgwalsh
May 2, 2003, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by BenRoethig
Too much market saturation is a bad thing. If IBM wants to put out a tower, let them. However, I wouldn't bring the clones back until Macs are around 15-20% of PC sales. Even then I'd limit it no more than two or three licensees other than IBM. I agree with you. My point they need to approach it differently and I think through the IT department and into the corporate offices first. Limiting the licenses is a good idea. But get IT to buy into it before anything else.

AmbitiousLemon
May 2, 2003, 06:37 PM
Mr. MacPhisto it seems like your story is a mixture of rumors and information from the internet and from your sources as well as speculation on your own part. Your story sounds quite plausible, and I suspect you do have real sources.

I am hoping you could help us out by letting us know what parts of yoru story are facts obtained from your sources and what is simply speculation on your part based on the facts you ahve been given.

This is a real problem with rumor sites. They often try to interpret facts or speculate as to what may happen, but give the users no idea what is real fact and what is speculation.

Please lets us know what you know so we may draw our own conclusions. I think you quite possibly have some interesting information, but it is just difficult to figure out what is real and what is not based on your original post.

Mr. MacPhisto
May 3, 2003, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by AmbitiousLemon
Mr. MacPhisto it seems like your story is a mixture of rumors and information from the internet and from your sources as well as speculation on your own part. Your story sounds quite plausible, and I suspect you do have real sources.

I am hoping you could help us out by letting us know what parts of yoru story are facts obtained from your sources and what is simply speculation on your part based on the facts you ahve been given.

This is a real problem with rumor sites. They often try to interpret facts or speculate as to what may happen, but give the users no idea what is real fact and what is speculation.

Please lets us know what you know so we may draw our own conclusions. I think you quite possibly have some interesting information, but it is just difficult to figure out what is real and what is not based on your original post.

Okay, what is real based on my sources (2 of them located at 2 different sites, my third contact is not involved with an area @ IBM that would deal with this stuff, so I'm not using any info from that one):

IBM has the 970 and will deliver 1.5-2.5 GHZ chips to Apple by June. What systems these chips will be in is specualtion on my part because I have no contacts inside Apple. I know the 1.5 GHZ is best suited for a small laptop and is slightly more power hungry than the 1.2 specs released officially. The 1.2 exists, but Apple won't be getting any.

IBM has a "modified" 750FX that can hit 2GHZ and can have a FSB up to 450. I don't have any pipeline info on this one, just know how fast it is. I know IBM will deliver speeds from 1.4-2 GHZ to Apple by June. Where they go is speculative, but the 1.4 should be the most laptop friendly, so my guess is the iBook.

IBM is designing a next generation 32-bit PPC processor that will supersede this new chip. The next gen chip is scheduled to be ready in the spring of next year.

IBM is working on a Power 5 derivative with hyperthreading and dual cores that may be ready as early as next summer.
Apple is already committed to purchasing both of these next generation chips.

Apple using 64-bit chips on the high end and 32 bit chips on the low end is an assumption on my part.

IBM will build OS-X based servers and will build OS-X desktops that will serve primarily as workstations. IBM likely will not sell to the consumer market until next year - although there is a possibility that they could sell them by Christmas.

IBM and Apple do have a deal that provides for tech sharing & allows for the companies to compensate for the others weaknesses.

Unmentioned rumor within the company: IBM will be gradually switching to OS-X internally. The only snag is the laptops issued, because IBM isn't licensed to make OSX laptops. This one is a rumor within. However, if Apple does manage to begin to infiltrate the market better, I could see IBM making Mac laptops as well. That's speculation on my part.

macrumors12345
May 3, 2003, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by Mr. MacPhisto
Okay, what is real based on my sources (2 of them located at 2 different sites, my third contact is not involved with an area @ IBM that would deal with this stuff, so I'm not using any info from that one):

IBM has the 970 and will deliver 1.5-2.5 GHZ chips to Apple by June. What systems these chips will be in is specualtion on my part because I have no contacts inside Apple. I know the 1.5 GHZ is best suited for a small laptop and is slightly more power hungry than the 1.2 specs released officially. The 1.2 exists, but Apple won't be getting any.


It is unclear how these "facts" would match up with MacBidouille's assertions that Apple will shortly begin shipping 1.4 Ghz 970 based PowerMacs. If Apple has 2.5 Ghz processors available to them (which the IBM rep at CeBit supposedly denied would be immediately available), then I would find it difficult to believe that the PowerMac would start as low as 1.4 Ghz...there would be too much of a disparity between a single processor 1.4 Ghz machine and a dual processor 2.5 Ghz machine (hehehe...I can only dream about the latter...my desktop computer would literally have more processing power than our department's "heavy duty" quad-Xeon Dell PowerEdge server). Not that I necessarily consider MacBidouille to be a credible source either, of course!

Oh, also, if Apple does not actually receive these processors until June, then I doubt that they could release the machines until August or September at the earliest. It's not like the PowerMacs can just be manufactured instantaneously as soon as the new chips show up! (I would assume they have had samples for some time now, however, so at least the preliminary designs should be done) Same thing would go for new iBooks/iMacs.

One question - I thought in one of your earlier posts you said that you were still in college (a senior?). So when were you working at IBM?

If even half of what you claim turns out to be true, that will be awesome. Everyone knows the 970 is coming to the PowerMac (but not necessarily what frequencies and whether it would be suitable for the Powerbook too), but I particularly like the idea of a new "low end" (and low power) processor for the iBook/iMac. Even the Moto 7457 is a little disappointing (though still far superior to what we have today) in that it only supports a bus speed of up to 200 mhz. And I find the idea of IBM using OS X fascinating (and definitely a desirable thing), though I have to say it really strains credibility (even though I think it would be a great idea for both Apple and IBM). At the end of the day, though, I have to be very skeptical because I remember too many other rumors (e.g. the Moto G5 rumor back in late 2001) that turned out to be false. Nothing personal of course - and if any of it does turn out to be true then you will certainly have my compliments for posting this info!

Supa_Fly
May 3, 2003, 03:24 PM
Mr. macPhisto,

Any idea at what front-side bus speeds, system bus speeds (is Apple going to be using IBM system controller chips?), and what amount if any L3 or L4 caches will also ship to Apple in June regarding the 970 cpu's??

Will the 970cpus support 32/64-bit OS X? What I mean is if OS X 10.3 Panther is 64 bit and I'm executing a 32-bit application withing OS X will the 970 cpu support this??

ANy info would be great thanks.

DHagan4755
May 3, 2003, 03:42 PM
What if the IBM 750fx chip modified to have altivec is what will actually be used in the new 15-in. powerbooks at, say, 1.4 GHz? Any info on this?

Catfish_Man
May 3, 2003, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by Prom1
Mr. macPhisto,

Any idea at what front-side bus speeds, system bus speeds (is Apple going to be using IBM system controller chips?), and what amount if any L3 or L4 caches will also ship to Apple in June regarding the 970 cpu's??

Will the 970cpus support 32/64-bit OS X? What I mean is if OS X 10.3 Panther is 64 bit and I'm executing a 32-bit application withing OS X will the 970 cpu support this??

ANy info would be great thanks.

IBM has announced that it will have no L3/L4 cache (although, in theory, Apple could put it on the northbridge). They have also announced that it will run all 32 bit applications just fine, although 32 bit operating systems will require minor tweaks.

Kritter
May 3, 2003, 04:50 PM
Will the 970cpus support 32/64-bit OS X? What I mean is if OS X 10.3 Panther is 64 bit and I'm executing a 32-bit application withing OS X will the 970 cpu support this??

The PowerPC Book E instruction set is the same for both 32-bit and 64-bit code, so 32-bit code works just fine on 64-bit machines. (The reverse is not true, since the 64-bit instructions of Book E do not need to be supported on 32-bit machines.)

Kritter out

Catfish_Man
May 3, 2003, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by Kritter
The PowerPC Book E instruction set is the same for both 32-bit and 64-bit code, so 32-bit code works just fine on 64-bit machines. (The reverse is not true, since the 64-bit instructions of Book E do not need to be supported on 32-bit machines.)

Kritter out

The PowerPC 970 is not Book-E according to discussion on arstechnica.com. It implements PowerPC64, PowerPC32, and POWER, iirc.

macrumors12345
May 3, 2003, 05:36 PM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
IBM has announced that it will have no L3/L4 cache (although, in theory, Apple could put it on the northbridge).

Yes, it would actually be highly desirable from Apple to put a small amount (certainly needn't exceed 1 MB, I think) of SRAM cache between the memory and the 970's unidirectional busses. Presumably (hopefully?) Apple will use Dual Channel DDR400 memory so that the memory bandwith matches up with the 970's FSB bandwidth (6.4 GB/s in both cases). The "problem" is that the dual channel DDR is bidirectional, so at any given moment it can only read or write, but not do both. In contrast, the 970 can simultaneously read and write 3.2 GB/s in each direction, since it has two unidirectional buses. As I understand it, a direct connection between the dual channel DDR and the 970 FSB w/o any cache would be suboptimal in the sense that the dual channel DDR could only read or write while the 970 FSB was both reading and writing, cutting the effective bandwidth in half. But with a small amount of SRAM cache in between, the 970 FSB and the dual channel DDR could both read and write into this cache at full speed (6.4 GB/s) at any given time, thus elminating this potential bottleneck.

BenRoethig
May 3, 2003, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by macrumors12345
It is unclear how these "facts" would match up with MacBidouille's assertions that Apple will shortly begin shipping 1.4 Ghz 970 based PowerMacs. If Apple has 2.5 Ghz processors available to them (which the IBM rep at CeBit supposedly denied would be immediately available), then I would find it difficult to believe that the PowerMac would start as low as 1.4 Ghz...there would be too much of a disparity between a single processor 1.4 Ghz machine and a dual processor 2.5 Ghz machine (hehehe...I can only dream about the latter...my desktop computer would literally have more processing power than our department's "heavy duty" quad-Xeon Dell PowerEdge server). Not that I necessarily consider MacBidouille to be a credible source either, of course!

The PPC970 is rumored to use an upgradable socket. Apple could be offering a wide range of speeds ranging from a single 1.4 tower for under $1000 to the dual 2.5 on the ultra high end (maybe $5000 or more).

Mr. MacPhisto
May 3, 2003, 11:51 PM
One question - I thought in one of your earlier posts you said that you were still in college (a senior?). So when were you working at IBM?



Yes, I'm a senior. I worked for IBM after my first semester in college. I stopped going at that point and worked for IBM a couple of years, starting when I was 18. I left because I was weary of computer work and wanted to finish my degree. I'm 24 now (turn 25 in a few weeks). I worked down here in Tampa, dealing primarily with network design for Advantis, but also doing IT work down here as well.

As for the chips in June, they're supposed to be there by June. It is possible they could get the chips to Apple before then, but I haven't asked about shipping status.

Mr. MacPhisto
May 3, 2003, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by DHagan4755
What if the IBM 750fx chip modified to have altivec is what will actually be used in the new 15-in. powerbooks at, say, 1.4 GHz? Any info on this?

It is a possibility. Any comments on this would be purely speculative. I assume Apple would want a 970 in the PB. I also have assumed they're introduce a whol enew lineup, but I coul dbe wrong there too. I'd almost guarantee a PM revision, but I think it would make most sense to introduce new lines for all the products. That would make the most buzz in the computer industry because Apple would be able to catch up in speed (not raw MHZ, but rendering speeds, etc) with Intel in one big leap.

Kritter
May 4, 2003, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
The PowerPC 970 is not Book-E according to discussion on arstechnica.com. It implements PowerPC64, PowerPC32, and POWER, iirc.

Ah! Thanks for enlightening me :)

Kritter out

G4scott
May 4, 2003, 01:45 AM
You know guys, what I'm about to say has nothing technical, yet makes sense to me...

I thnk that it can be concluded that Jobs is a hardass (as seen by this thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=25853) ). Well, we also know that Jobs is not suicidal, and with motorola in it's current condition, and Jobs being super excited about this year, I think he has something like this up his sleeve. Yes, OS X is better than anything else, and we have cool stuff, but Jobs knows probably more than anybody that we're losing to the intel/AMD world in speed...

If Jobs can talk to all 5 major recording companies and not have word get out about it for a year, I think they could hide something like this...

I would be really excited to see stuff like this happen this summer. (Of course, I'd want a new computer then...)

The only problem that I can see, and it may not necessarily be a problem, is that I don't think IBM is the type of company who pulls surprises like Apple does. Either this is false, or Jobs has a sweet deal worked out with IBM, and it'll be even sweeter to us...

I really need to talk to my uncle who works for IBM in Austin...

Mr. MacPhisto, I hope you're right. If so, I think you should be hired to work with MacRumors on this stuff... I just hope your information sources aren't violating their NDA's. If this is the first word we've heard of such exciting news, and it comes so freely from you, I wonder why we haven't heard it before... Besides, we all know how Steve Jobs likes to keep things under wraps...

beatle888
May 4, 2003, 02:26 AM
hmm, i was just gonna say that apple wouldnt let someone else manufacture desktops running osx. but then i guess if its just ibm it might do more good than anything. as so many already mentioned, ibm's name will really help apple gain ground in the business sector. also, couldnt apple use a bit of help manufacturing systems? they can barely get their new systems out the door (17" pb). i just hope (if its true) its a good decision.

csimmons
May 4, 2003, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by Reed Black
I hope this Mr. MacPHISTO is right. I believe that he is regarding everything. The same folks saying that Apple wouldnt allow OSX on an IBM station are the same people who said that there would NEVER BE A 17" powerbook and wa-laa its here.


BTW they also said there would never be iTunes for Windows....
:D

charles

vniow
May 6, 2003, 01:40 AM
I just rermembered a similar thread to this awhile back that mentioned a G3 revamp sort of like what Mr. Macphisto was talking about, here's the other thread:

Ditching the G4 series completely, not for iMacs, not for iBooks, not for Nothin! (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=22170)

anonmac
May 9, 2003, 11:14 AM
mr macphisto said....
think Apple may put 1MB of L3 on the 750 machines, 2MB on the PBs and PowerMacs. However, the PMs can
take up to 4 - and it may be best for the laptops to only have 1.

there is no l3 cache on the 970. this makes all this info. suspect for me.

;(

i am surprised no one picked this up before...at least i did not see it posted...

Mr. MacPhisto
May 9, 2003, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by anonmac
mr macphisto said....
think Apple may put 1MB of L3 on the 750 machines, 2MB on the PBs and PowerMacs. However, the PMs can
take up to 4 - and it may be best for the laptops to only have 1.

there is no l3 cache on the 970. this makes all this info. suspect for me.

;(

i am surprised no one picked this up before...at least i did not see it posted...

Please note, that was my OPINION and not info from a source inside IBM. Notice how I started out with "I think" and said "Apple may". I have no sources in Apple, only in IBM. And, as was noted before, even though IBM does not configure the 970 with L3, Apple may be able to add it on their own. A couple posts up it is mentioned that it may be placed on the north bridge. Just because IBM doesn't spec out L3 doesn't mean that Apple can't add it.

MoldyJohn
May 9, 2003, 07:28 PM
Never posted here before but I had to sign up just to make this point. Quite some time back I read (canít remember where), that Steve had called on ad firm Chiat-Day to prepare a major TV commercial exceeding the 1984 superbowl ad. It is to air this coming superbowl and is to be a milestone event. Iíve been chewing on that since then. The 970 news started trickling out and I thought perhaps thatís it. But really the 970 just isnít big enough to warrant a move like this. Certainly music deals are big and interesting but still donít fit the stature of the original Mac ad. I decided at one point that an IBM alliance announcement would fit, but chalked it up to over the top pipe dreaming. If this story has legs, the pieces start to fall in place.

Supa_Fly
May 24, 2003, 04:36 PM
Unfortunately,
Dual-Channel DDR400 will only support 800Mhz for the Front Side Bus. When the PowerPC970 will need 900Mhz. still itll acheive the 6.4GB/sec. bandwidth.

Got a serious question, what is the difference or how is both related.......clock cycle and operations per second.
Even on ArsTechnica I cannot find info regarding operations per second and Mhz/Ghz of a clock cycle. If I have a 1Ghz chip how many operations per second will it do, or/and how do seconds and Mhz correlate to one another???

thanks

makkii
May 25, 2003, 04:03 AM
I do not think IBM can make enough profit to cover the development costs just from Apple.
Are there any other companies planinng to use these CPUs? If not, I have this feeling that it will end up just like Moto