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arn
Aug 11, 2002, 05:06 AM
PenguinPPC (http://penguinppc.org) is reporting that IBM's new vector unit is AltiVec compatible and is called VMX.

No source is reported.

The new processor is reported to be under consideration (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/08/20020809122153.shtml) by Apple.

Ensign Paris
Aug 11, 2002, 05:17 AM
That it is pretty cool, I hope we see these processors, although I don't see any specific MHz (or GHZ :)) yet, maybe I need to look harder.

Ensign

DannyZR2
Aug 11, 2002, 05:25 AM
HELLZ YEAH!!!

Jays
Aug 11, 2002, 05:38 AM
this is gearing up to be the best news for us in a long time, I fear with these speculations the new powerMac's will be a bit disapointing, and it won't be befor 2003 that apple will catch up with the pro line.

I for one will not be buying another moto G4 for now...

gotohamish
Aug 11, 2002, 05:41 AM
Should the IBM chip be backward compatible with Altivec it would obviously be a great boost for Apple, but also the fact that Motorola and Apple use different names might help too:

Motorola have Altivec, Apple call it the Velocity Engine. The casual Apple fan who might not be processor-learned might not know Altivec, and if Apple switch chips and STILL have the 'Velocity Engine' on board, who's to know the differnce on paper?

Difference on the desktop is another thing, and I frankly can't wait.

barkmonster
Aug 11, 2002, 06:20 AM
When I finally ditched the Atari and got my first mac I went from a 16bit cpu to a 32bit cpu. It would be great if after the 4 years or so of having my current mac that my new one makes the leap to 64bit!

I can't afford a new mac this year anyway, assuming apple bring these out sometime next year, by the time I've got enough saved for the current entry level I could end up getting something really powerful for my money. I'm looking forward to seeing how these IBM rumours develop.

One thing that's impressed me most about the specs on the IBM chip is this;

The G4 is 4 x superscaler

The IBM chip is 8 x superscaler

This means a maximum of 4 instructions per clock cycle, it manages 2.31 in realword terms so with an 8 x superscaler chip we could be looking at nearly 5 instructions per clock cycle. That would mean apple can return to the days of the G3 and Pentium 2, understating the genuine pentium crushing performance and shaking up intel. from what I remember, when intel performed their own tests on the G3, it showed the powermac is even faster than apple claimed it was :D

Beej
Aug 11, 2002, 06:38 AM
This sounds great.

But VMX? Sounds too much like MMX for my liking... :)

Blitzkrieg
Aug 11, 2002, 06:55 AM
Originally posted by Beej
This sounds great.

But VMX? Sounds too much like MMX for my liking... :)

VMX was the original name of Altivec:
Vector Multimedia eXtension

And developed by IBM, by the way...:D

sageenos
Aug 11, 2002, 07:45 AM
Now maybe all the switch to x86 threads will die off...

Rocketman
Aug 11, 2002, 08:08 AM
Other links on the PenguinPPC site also go into various linux installs onto Powermacs and X-serve. One such link (http://penguinppc.org/) reports:

"Another One Bites the Dust
July 24, 2002

Ben Herrenschmidt has pounded 1U of Apple hardware into submission. The Xserve has booted and run
GNU/Linux!. There are still some kinks to work out, and your favorite distribution's installer may need some tweaks to install (check with them). Support in the kernel source trees is forthcoming. Word is, running in uniprocessor mode GNU/Linux returned data from mysql databases 4 times faster than OSX running in SMP mode. This was with the same datasets, same queries, same mysql version, and same compile options."

The point I am raising is Apple has apparantly not optimized the software yet for maximum speed since a single linux hacker got a recompile to run 4x faster in several days on a particular database call test.

This might indicate how Jagwire :) has achieved such substantial speed increases in several areas and an indication of lots of good things to come as
hundreds of elements of OSX are updated. One wonders if they are doing 64 bit versions at the same time as 32 bit so when a Power4 derivitive comes out they already have OSX64 10.3 (Warp 10) handy.

Rocketman

Flip those bits.

ibjoshua
Aug 11, 2002, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by sageenos
Now maybe all the switch to x86 threads will die off...

we should be so lucky!

there are some serious AMD fans lurking in these corridors.

josh

G4scott
Aug 11, 2002, 08:35 AM
This sounds good, seeing as how Apple has dedicated themselves to Alti-Vec, it'd be pretty stupid to dump it...

Mr. Anderson
Aug 11, 2002, 08:48 AM
Even though this info was mentioned before, its still great news. I'm really curious what the specs of the intended intially delivered CPUs will be - again, great news, but its all potential - I hope Apple doesn't drop the ball here.

D

dhdave
Aug 11, 2002, 08:49 AM
I just saw this this morning (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,449725,00.asp)

Of particular interest:

"What I find is interesting is the fact that IBM can talk about it. If there was committed Mac design, you know (Apple CEO) Steve Jobs would have his hands around IBM's neck not to talk about this chip," said Kevin Krewell, a senior analyst at In-Stat/MDR. "The fact that IBM is talking about it indicates to me that it's not a mainstream Apple product at this time."

That to me, is VERY interesting. It is possible that Apple is just biding it's time, but then again...

The article goes on:

The current bleak economic climate, which has undermined Apple's sales and profits, and the likely high costs of introducing such a new platform may be deterring the company from making the leap from 32-bit to 64-bit computing.

"I believe it's possible that it's too expensive at the moment for Apple to commit to it at this point and time," Krewell said.

Nevertheless, IBM's disclosure will likely cheer supporters of the PowerPC design by showing the architecture evolving to more powerful implementations.

Count me among those. I love the PowerPC. I hope Apple decides IBM's is worth using. I for one would pay MORE for a better internal design. Screw the enclosure. They can use the quicksilver case for the next 10 years for all I care. Just give me a workable architecture with a roadmap of steady improvements in CPU speed and memory bandwidth that makes the Pentium look like the old, piecemeal design that it really is.

dh

Bear
Aug 11, 2002, 09:08 AM
I find it very likely that IBM would be talking about a chip Apple is contract to use.

IBM is a much larger company than Apple and use the PPC chip in its own machines. Apple is Motorola's biggest PPC chip customer. So while Apple may get to control the news Motorola reports, IBM would never agree to delaying announcements for another company when it needs the chip for itself.

This of course is just my 2 cents on the issue.

cyberfunk
Aug 11, 2002, 09:09 AM
Well, if this is the G5 or it's replacement from IBM, I'd be most happy ! I think that these chips sound a lot like they could be used in Apple's boxes, quickly, unlike the Motorla embedded 7500s that dont have altivec, and lack many other things that are integral to a desktop computer. Hopefully Apple will adopt this almost "off the shelf" soluion, as it seems to need not that much tweaking to work with their stuff.

cyberfunk
Aug 11, 2002, 09:10 AM
Originally posted by Bear
I find it very likely that IBM would be talking about a chip Apple is contract to use.

IBM is a much larger company than Apple and use the PPC chip in its own machines. Apple is Motorola's biggest PPC chip customer. So while Apple may get to control the news Motorola reports, IBM would never agree to delaying announcements for another company when it needs the chip for itself.

This of course is just my 2 cents on the issue.

I agree completely

Blitzkrieg
Aug 11, 2002, 09:15 AM
Found this link yesterday:

http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~dianam/ics02/ics-3.pdf

A research paper (dated back to June 23, 2002) from IBM about an LPX processor (low-power with VMX - tapeout early 2003), about circuits running at 3.3 GHz up to 4.5 Ghz and so on. In one graph this processor compares to a Power4 - sounds interesting to me :D

G4scott
Aug 11, 2002, 10:28 AM
I know how this processor can get so much publicity and still be used by Apple.

When Apple introduced the G4, they were the only ones supporting it. Motorola didn't say anything about how fast it was. It's hard for Apple to 'sell' a processor that nobody's ever heard of.
If Apple is planning to use this processor, they're letting it speak for itself. By having IBM get so much publicity with it, people will think "Man, that's one kick @$$ processor!", and then Apple can put it in their desktops, and people will already know that it can really kick major pee-cee @$$...

This may be a new strategy from Apple. You don't see dell or gateway showing off how fast the p4 is. They just have to say "intel inside" and let intel do the advertising. It would make it much easier for people to see how fast these machines truly are.

A PowerMac with a Power4 will scream!!!

jadam
Aug 11, 2002, 11:25 AM
uhhhhhhh did you JUST call an Apple computer a pee-cee?? no you didnt.....................


anyways. Apple will use these chips, and IBM is tooo big of a company to listen to apple and not disclose details about this chip.. For gods sake, when did we know about the 1ghz G3s?? when did apple use them???? they havent, and IBM is supposedly coming out with 1.5ghz G3s also(with VMX maybe :) please IBM ... "keep on dreaming"....) Apple cant force IBM to shut up. Doesnt IBM make around 100billion a year?? they make 5x what MS makes for gods sake... and who knows how much more than apple.

and HAHAHA to all of you saying Apple is safe because it has a few single digits billions in hte bank, look at what IBM has.

Anyways, i need a powermac anyways, this ibook isnt the most amazingly super super fast thing yah know(but then again theres X.2) heh.

luiss
Aug 11, 2002, 11:29 AM
Given all we know (or really the little we know) about this chip, why would Apple NOT want to use this chip?
Of course, we don't know alot of things about this chip, but assuming...
[list=1]
Current software will not need a recompile to run
The vector units are Altivec compatible.
The chip is real (not still being designed/debugged)
[/list=1]
Why would Apple not want to use this chip?
I don't know, just starting a thread...

ffakr
Aug 11, 2002, 11:43 AM
People, please read the Microprocessor report blurb again. It clearly states this is a POWERPC, Not a Power4 processor.
The posts, especially in this thread, seem to finally be recognising this but there are still people calling the new chip a Power4. It isn't.
It uses the PowerPC instruction set, with design cues from the Power4 processor.

This will be a HUGE difference when it comes time for Apple to implement this processor.
The Power4 ISA is a cousin of the PowerPC ISA. OSX and all of the apps would need to be recompiled to run on a Power4. This chip just needs hardware support and we should be able to use it.

... sorry for being grumpy...my back hurts :mad:

:D :D :D

Other topic... If this thing is 8way superscalar, it is going to need a lot of load/store and excecution units. It is going to be a big honking processor.
Don't expect dualies any time soon... Maybe when IBM starts cranking them out on their .09 micron plant next year. Not that it will matter though... it will likely have twice the IPC (instructions per Clock) of the G4 and It will probably be clocked higher than the G4. yum yum

Rajj
Aug 11, 2002, 11:47 AM
I wonder what is the micron level on that chip and what are the processor speeds?:confused:

Catfish_Man
Aug 11, 2002, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by ffakr

Other topic... If this thing is 8way superscalar, it is going to need a lot of load/store and excecution units. It is going to be a big honking processor.
Don't expect dualies any time soon... Maybe when IBM starts cranking them out on their .09 micron plant next year. Not that it will matter though... it will likely have twice the IPC (instructions per Clock) of the G4 and It will probably be clocked higher than the G4. yum yum

Actually, with a G4+ you have:
2 simple integer
1 complex integer
1 floating point
4 vector
= 8 way superscalar
The G4+ is a 4 (or maybe 3 I can't remember, I think it's 3) issue 8 way superscalar processor.
btw, why do people care about this thing's clock frequency? It's got 6.4GB/sec of memory bandwidth, we don't need clock frequency!

drastik
Aug 11, 2002, 12:58 PM
yeah, but the masses want a high clock, and I say just give it to them. Steve comes out and gives a wink to the loyal and knowing and then tells the world they can get a 4 GHz Mac, it would be a good thing. I don't sweat hertz, but ma and pa kettle do.:D

topicolo
Aug 11, 2002, 01:09 PM
About that PenguinPPC site that ARN listed as the source for this tidbit of info: did anybody notice that little blurb titled 'Tibook 800 now runs at 800' ? It said that all Tibooks boot up at 667Mhz, but the operating system actually changes the clock speed to 800Mhz. DOes this mean that the Tibook 667Mhz can be overclocked to 800 a la ibook?

It would be interesting if a macrumors uber-hacker would look into this :)
Puleeeze?

powerbook
Aug 11, 2002, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by Blitzkrieg


VMX was the original name of Altivec:
Vector Multimedia eXtension

And developed by IBM, by the way...:D

I thought Motorola owned the Altivec technology? If it was developed by IBM then why are there discussions about Apple buying altivec from Motorola?

:D

peterh
Aug 11, 2002, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by ffakr
People, please read the Microprocessor report blurb again. It clearly states this is a POWERPC, Not a Power4 processor.
The posts, especially in this thread, seem to finally be recognising this but there are still people calling the new chip a Power4. It isn't.
It uses the PowerPC instruction set, with design cues from the Power4 processor.

This will be a HUGE difference when it comes time for Apple to implement this processor.
The Power4 ISA is a cousin of the PowerPC ISA. OSX and all of the apps would need to be recompiled to run on a Power4. This chip just needs hardware support and we should be able to use it.



Not true, the POWER4 implements the full 64 bit PPC ISA; therefore, AIX 32 bit executables compiled for the RS6000 using a PPC604e run natively on a POWER4 based machine. This is directly from the IBM tech docs.

Joshlew
Aug 11, 2002, 02:25 PM
Ahem.............

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

sparkleytone
Aug 11, 2002, 03:29 PM
to the person that agrees that IBM probably wouldnt be talking about it if Apple was going to use it...750FX. Info came out about 7 months before we saw one.

Altho this is definitely exciting, it will also pretty much be the chopping of the head off of OS9. When Apple goes 64-bit, OS9 will be out the window, due to the ridiculous amount STILL of oldass instructions for oldass chips.

daRAT
Aug 11, 2002, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Bear
I find it very likely that IBM would be talking about a chip Apple is contract to use.

IBM is a much larger company than Apple and use the PPC chip in its own machines. Apple is Motorola's biggest PPC chip customer. So while Apple may get to control the news Motorola reports, IBM would never agree to delaying announcements for another company when it needs the chip for itself.

This of course is just my 2 cents on the issue.

I find it unlikely also. And I doubt SJ could throttle IBM, as the original article states *grin*. SJ would be mad as hell tho IF these chips were going in new Mac's soon and it was leaked out :D

How about this, IBM making a PPC peecee, with OS X as the OS? Could it be done? And would Apple like it?

G4scott
Aug 11, 2002, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by daRAT
How about this, IBM making a PPC peecee, with OS X as the OS? Could it be done? And would Apple like it?

Wouldn't that just be a Mac? It would also be a clone, and we all know how Steve Jobs feels about clones... :rolleyes:

Malus120
Aug 11, 2002, 05:52 PM
All i can say is, Apple, its time to grab your shotgun and put Motorola out to pasture. This thing is going to have some serous Pentium crushing skills if it can get 5+ instructions per clock average and 8 max. Can we say P4(hell and even the Athalon)=DEAD. if i remember right the P4 has 1.something per clock. LOL GO IBM/Apple:D :D :D :D

cr2sh
Aug 11, 2002, 06:22 PM
VMX.. it might be the original name of altivec but uh...

Roman Numerals..
V for 5.. as in the G type
M for 1000 (mhz?)
X for the OS

VMX is 1015, which has no obvious mulitiple of a fsb.. who knows..
the story said "draw your own conclussions" these are mine, although i'll admit far fetched...

alex_ant
Aug 11, 2002, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by cr2sh
VMX.. it might be the original name of altivec but uh...

Roman Numerals..
V for 5.. as in the G type
M for 1000 (mhz?)
X for the OS

VMX is 1015, which has no obvious mulitiple of a fsb.. who knows..
the story said "draw your own conclussions" these are mine, although i'll admit far fetched...
No, no, you've got it all wrong:

V, the 21st letter of the alphabet. How old do you have to be in both New York and California to buy alcohol? 21. And what did Steve do after his last MWNY keynote? He got really drunk. This one is obvious.

M, the 13th letter of the alphabet. How many years after the introduction of the original Macintosh did it take for Steve to return to Apple? 13. What's 21 - 13? 8. And this new chip is superscalar to what degree? That's right - the 8th.

X, the 23rd letter of the alphabet. What's 23 - 8 (the number of instructions per cycle this new chip is theoretically capable of performing)? 15. That's only ONE LESS than 16, which is the letter P. Hmm. X... P... XP.

It's so obvious: Apple will be phasing out OS X and converting to Windows XP. With no OS to port, this will dramatically simplify their x86 conversion. No longer will they have to worry about poor sales of their slow and expensive hardware - they will reap huge profits selling their iApps for $99 each and discontinuing all other non-core-competency products. I mean... how could you NOT see that? This Power4-derived chip is small beans compared to the glory of the Intel Pentium 4.

cyberfunk
Aug 11, 2002, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by alex_ant


It's so obvious: Apple will be phasing out OS X and converting to Windows XP. With no OS to port, this will dramatically simplify their x86 conversion. No longer will they have to worry about poor sales of their slow and expensive hardware - they will reap huge profits selling their iApps for $99 each and discontinuing all other non-core-competency products. I mean... how could you NOT see that? This Power4-derived chip is small beans compared to the glory of the Intel Pentium 4.

Are you TRYING to get tarred an feathered ? :D

Johnny7896
Aug 11, 2002, 09:03 PM
If the power 4 is AltiVec compatible then it's a shoe-in for the mac. IBM wouldn't build AltiVec in any processor for it's self. Also, to see so many people wanting Apple to move towards the power4; it seems hard to believe that Apple would stick with the Moto G5. I'm sure Steve understandings this also. I'm sure behide closed doors IBM, Apple, and other companies are working on projects. I think it would be wonderful, if apple let IBM use MAC OS X for their servers only.

Because!!!
1. Linux sucks.
2. Linux sucks.
3. Mac OS X kicks A$$.
4. OS X needs to get out into the big IT enviroment.
5. IBM needs a better OS.
6. This is a win-win for both companies.
7. It would really Pi$$off Micro$$$$$.

szark
Aug 11, 2002, 09:23 PM
I find it very interesting that this information appeared so soon after all of the analyst's opinions saying that "Apple needs to go Intel."

Seems rather coincidental...

bousozoku
Aug 11, 2002, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by daRAT


I find it unlikely also. And I doubt SJ could throttle IBM, as the original article states *grin*. SJ would be mad as hell tho IF these chips were going in new Mac's soon and it was leaked out :D

How about this, IBM making a PPC peecee, with OS X as the OS? Could it be done? And would Apple like it?

IBM already made a PPC PC and put OS/2 for PPC and AIX on it. It didn't sell well, they didn't market it well, and it died. They're not likely to think about another product like that, even with Mac OS X, even if Steve Jobs would licence it.

eirik
Aug 11, 2002, 10:58 PM
Originally posted by Blitzkrieg
Found this link yesterday:

http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~dianam/ics02/ics-3.pdf

A research paper (dated back to June 23, 2002) from IBM about an LPX processor (low-power with VMX - tapeout early 2003), about circuits running at 3.3 GHz up to 4.5 Ghz and so on. In one graph this processor compares to a Power4 - sounds interesting to me :D

Blitzkrieg, I'm afraid I cannot fully agree with you about the article you alerted us to (BTW, thank you for doing so!). You see, if I could understand what the hell it was talking about I'd of found it MORE interesting. Nevertheless, I did find it interesting, albeit very confusing.

Of note, however, the particular processor the authors discussed would tape-out in early 2003. Didn't IBM's new cell CPU just tape-out? Now, doesn't 'tape-out' mean that design has been completed and then prototypes are developed and eventually production comes around. Well, if the Cell is two years out and this Power4 offspring is running behind the cell in terms of progress toward production, then I find this article disturbing. VERY DISTURBING!!!

On trying to be an optimist, IBM undoubtedly has a number of different CPU concepts under design, most of which never reach production I suspect. This article seems to be about various ways to decrease power density while minimizing performance trade-offs. Consequently, this article COULD be about the successor to the offspring to be discussed at the Microprocessor forum.

Question, is it common for presentations to be made on overall processors, not just some new element technology, that are pre-taped-out? Is the Cell, for example, which just taped-out, going to be discussed at the forum?

You all see where I'm coming from here? That article, while interesting for what little of it I could comprehend, poses some rather unpleasant product release date prospects. I prefer to think, however, that the first offspring from the Power4 has already taped-out. If not, two years is a long time.

job
Aug 12, 2002, 01:51 AM
Originally posted by Johnny7896

1. Linux sucks.
2. Linux sucks.


I don't exactly see why Linux sucks and what bearing it has on this discussion.

alex_ant
Aug 12, 2002, 01:58 AM
Originally posted by Johnny7896
I think it would be wonderful, if apple let IBM use MAC OS X for their servers only.

Because!!!
1. Linux sucks.
2. Linux sucks.
3. Mac OS X kicks A$$.
4. OS X needs to get out into the big IT enviroment.
5. IBM needs a better OS.
6. This is a win-win for both companies.
7. It would really Pi$$off Micro$$$$$.
Linux makes a terrific server. If you take ease of use out of the equation, it pisses all over OS X from the standpoints of speed, reliability, and maturity, and robustness. OS X is a great desktop OS, but it is not a very good server platform yet. Whether it will ever be able to catch up to Linux here is debatable as well.

Alex

arn
Aug 12, 2002, 03:22 AM
Originally posted by alex_ant

Linux makes a terrific server. If you take ease of use out of the equation, it pisses all over OS X from the standpoints of speed, reliability, and maturity, and robustness. OS X is a great desktop OS, but it is not a very good server platform yet. Whether it will ever be able to catch up to Linux here is debatable as well.

Alex

Linux is a good server platform (this site runs on linux)... however, I don't think you can say that OS X is not a good server platform. OSX = FreeBSD.

arn

alex_ant
Aug 12, 2002, 04:28 AM
Originally posted by arn
Linux is a good server platform (this site runs on linux)... however, I don't think you can say that OS X is not a good server platform. OSX = FreeBSD.
Maybe I should have said relatively not very good... although FreeBSD appears on OS X's family tree, OS X mysteriously manages to be much slower. Or maybe it's only slower with Quartz running... It has the potential to be great, but it needs a lot of performance optimization and better filesystem offerings, among other improvement.

Alex

MrRivers
Aug 12, 2002, 09:26 AM
According to THE german tech bible c't IBM's new vector unit is not AltiVec compatible:

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/data/as-09.08.02-000/
(there's no english version, sorry)

MrRivers

gopher
Aug 12, 2002, 10:27 AM
They've since added the source:

http://www.mdronline.com/mpf/conf.html

Quote:

Breaking Through Compute Intensive Barriers - IBM's New 64-bit PowerPC Microprocessor
Peter Sandon, Senior Processor Architect, Power PC Organization,
IBM Microelectronics IBM is disclosing the technical details of a new 64-bit PowerPC microprocessor designed for desktops and entry-level servers. Based on the award winning Power4 design, this processor is an 8-way superscalar design that fully supports Symmetric MultiProcessing. The processor is further enhanced by a vector processing unit implementing over 160 specialized vector instructions and implements a system interface capable of up to 6.4GB/s.

End Quote

whatever
Aug 12, 2002, 10:57 AM
I spoke to some friends at Apple, it's funny what a few beers on Friday night will buy you, and there will be a new Professional computer released this week and it will not be "your grandfather's" G4. It will not be available until late August/early September and everyone is going to be surprised.

Please note that this press release will occur right after President Bush's CEO and CFO sign. deadline, the stock market will be hitting new lows at that time and Apple and IBM will need something to bring them back (beyond signing on the dotted line).

IBM will not be creating Mac Clones, but look for OS X server to be appearing soon on IBM's new Sun/SPARC killers.

Hey maybe I'm just making all of this up, but...

gopher
Aug 12, 2002, 11:48 AM
To those who say Linux sux, well it is a good system, and very good for Internet Service Providers to have. It is vastly more secure than Microsoft servers, and doesn't go down as frequently, and costs less. However, for ease of configuration and security, and uptime you need Mac OS X. Oh and it still costs less than Microsoft.

End of story.