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IBM Power4 and Apple

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by arn, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Silicon.com claims that IBM and Apple are in discussions with the 64-bit Power4 design that is to be discussed at the Microprocessor Forum 2002:

    Network equipment and other communications gear is the most likely destination for the new PowerPC, as the bulk of existing PowerPCs are used there. However, IBM is also wooing Apple, sources familiar with the chip said. The company is in a constant tug of war with Motorola, which makes most of the PowerPC chips slotted into Macs, for Apple's business.
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    That's some really good news. I just wonder if we'd see this happening anytime before the end of the year, which I find highly doubtful. Why is it that everything with Apple seems to be more potential that actual?:(
  3. macrumors regular

    Now we're talking. Let's get a REAL chip manufacturer to develop some REAL horsepower. Motorola can then focus on embedded processors and crap like that.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Man, I wish I could help

    It would be like setting up a friend with a girl you know is just perfect for him. Maybe I'll write an email:

    Dear Apple,

    I know that you and your current partner (Moto) have been having some trouble recently. Now, I love Moto as much as they next guy, but I think its time for you to move on with your life. Shake free of those chains and live for yourself.

    I know someone who I think would be just perfect for you, she's into Vector processing and RISC just like MOTO, but shes much more cooperative and "faster" if ya know what I mean. Now her names Big Blue, but don't let the Big throw you, she's usually not bloated. I heard that Blue like you, and I think the two of you could get together and have a little fun.

  5. macrumors regular


    I'm the one that FIRST posted that Article's Quote in the original IBM PPC discussion... I found it at CNET this morning.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Ambrose Chapel

    hopefully a quick courtship

    If this is accurate, and IBM is now only trying to convince Apple to get on board with this chip, maybe we should rethink that the IBM G5 is imminent...
  7. macrumors 68000


    As much as I hate "wintel" (windows+intel), I just can't stand the thought of "mopple" (motorola + apple).:)
  8. macrumors 603


    Welcome to the machine.

    The article cited is the most definitive news yet on what we usually call G5. It also confirms it will have Altivec+, will be one processor per chip, which is a change from prior statements.

    It also says shoot for 2ghz, so I bet it will be more like 1.6ghz on release because Apple slightly underclocks computers for mass-production compatibility and reliability.

    The late 2002 timeframe also indicates Jan-03 is a likely release date for first items. Probaly a server box and maybe a super top of the line workstation.

    It will be PRICEY.

    It will be faaaaaaaaast.

  9. macrumors member

    Yeah, TiBM sounds a lot healthier:cool:
  10. macrumors member

    TiBM? Nah, I'm thinking iBapple
  11. macrumors regular

    The SLEEPER rumor

    Could this be the sleeper rumor of the decade?

    You know the one that doesn't have any hype around it, almost looks like a given course for Apple to follow and has been completely underground up until the last minute.

    More than just a rumor it could be the BIG DEAL like when Apple announced PowerPCs (though hopefully this will have better follow through - Jobs).

    Going 64 bit seems natural for Apple to do. We all know they move in great leaps instead of babysteps. Look at internet connectivity, Macs used to have the worst support for ethernet / TCP/IP... it was all Appletalk, but then they were the first to include standard GigEthernet and then wireless with the network subsystem to use it all very well.

    I'm not sure which methodology i prefer though. As an investor I think Apple is working a good revenue model but as a consumer i would prefer more scalability and compatibility from generation to generation or at least a better and more standard upgrade path.
  12. macrumors newbie

    WHOOOO! Just in time for my next year college purchase!

    I really like the part about --They should able to meet their 2GHz speeds by the end of 2002-- (thats not verbatim, but close enough) I like this kind of proof/evidence. Get excited.
  13. macrumors regular

    Well, if this comes true (and it has Altivec AND it hits the street at 2Ghz), then I'll shut up about Apple needing to switch to x86 Processors.

    But not until then :)

    Either way we get one thing out of the way. MOTOROLA!

  14. macrumors 68000


    yeah, regardless of if apple leaves motorola or not, I propose that motorola's microprocessor execs get a good beating with those 10 foot poles they have stuck up their @$$es:D
  15. macrumors member

    Re: IBM Power4 and Apple

    What do they mean by most? Are they already using someone else's chips??
  16. macrumors member


    Watt, Binary Troubles

    Let's suppose that the new IBM PowerXX core doubles+ the wattage consumpton from today's G4 Apollo (21.3 Watts) The PowerMac CPU is now on-par with the x86 competition in terms of wattage consumption.

    Now Apple must decide what the high-end portable will utilize as a CPU... While both AMD and Intel have mobile-specific cores with power-conservative features, IBM and Motorola haven't needed to develop such jury-rigged solutions (due to thier ability to squeeze good performance out of low-consumption cores)

    We might possibly see an IBM "Son-of-POWER" in the Xserve and PowerMac lines, and Motorola 74xx's in the iMac, iBook and PowerBook... Great if Motorola can achieve better performance in the coming 18 months, bad if the PowerBook turns in to "the big iBook with the better features and slightly faster CPU"

    Then there's the matter of 32-bit and 64-bit binaries. It's unclear whether the new PowerXX cpu will be able to crunch both 64-bit and 32-bit strings in unison, or if the new CPU will initially require a 32-bit hardwire (such as the G4 utilizes for its 64-bit FPU) for Apple's purposes...

    Apple might very likely enable the transition between 32-bit and 64-bit OS X "smoothly", much like the 680x0 ---> PPC transition seen in 7.x... Perhaps a return to the age of Fat Binaries...
  17. macrumors regular


    ...they use IBM chips in CRT iMacs and iBooks. Those obviously aren't made by Motorola.

    I think that's why the wording is the way it is.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Gosh, It is good news...

    But here's to hoping it's not more vaporware (ala' G5)
  19. macrumors 68000


    Re: Watt, Binary Troubles

    P4s and Athlons comsume upwards of 60-100 watts of power. The Power4 is about 100watts, I believe.
  20. macrumors member

    Re: Re: IBM Power4 and Apple

    Ever heard about the ibook ? it has a g3 chip in it... guess who makes the g3 ? Yes, we have a winner... IBM is the correct answer
  21. macrumors member

    If this rumor is true this must happen very soon because in half a year this processor is already old: Intel and AMD are not sleeping...

    But I have another concern. Will we see OSX on IBM mainframes? At the moment IBM is working on having LINUX on mainframes. It would be interesting to see many big companies, which have IBM mainframes, having as servers and terminals MACs.
    Maybe it is just nonesense....
  22. macrumors member

    Personally, I think it will be out by MWSF -- at the latest -- with a good chance of being announced as being part of the next PowerMac. This processor was announced almost a year ago. They're probably already very far along in development, if not finished. There is NO RULE that states one must first present a paper on the chip, then design the chip, then produce the chip, then put it in a Mac. They can do it in whatever order they want. Okay?

    Also note the new IBM Fishkill facility. People keep saying this is for the new PS3 "cell" chip. Wrong. The "cell" is still 2 or more years away. There's no way IBM would build a plant that's ready now for a chip that won't be ready to be produced for a few years.

    As far as speed, expect this to blow the doors off a 3GHz P4. By itself, it should go 2x the speed of a similar speed G4. After that, take into account hypertransport and faster bus speeds. In terms of raw performance, I expect the top end PowerMac with these chips to be roughly 8x the speed of the current top end.

    And as far as the future goes, IBM already has that well in hand. Remember, this is a Power4 "lite". They could very easily bump up its power TODAY (for a price). Throw the "cell" research in and the road ahead looks better than it has in a long while.
  23. macrumors 68020


    Well, all of the news is fitting together nicely. A new chip plant, a scaled down Power4, and discussions between IBM and Apple... I think Apple's been somewhat pissed off at Moto because of 1) their first flop with the G4 and not being able to produce enough (where IBM had to come in and help) and 2) performance is falling behind

    One thing about Apple is that they try to reach ahead, and develop new technologies that they think will catch on, and work out for them. They will seem to be falling behind the competition, but instead of working on just catching up, they're trying to find a way to surpass the competition. Right now, it looks like Apple has 2 options, the Motorola G5 or the IBM scaled down Power4 (what would they call it? The Power4 is a big, power hungry chip, and this isn't, maybe the miniPower4?). Motorola has been working on the G5 for 2 years or even more, and they still haven't gotten a desktop version on the market... IBM has been making Power4's, and this new chip is just a matter of taking off what a desktop CPU doesn't need... If the new Power4 does have alti-vec, great, but if not, it may be fast enough that you don't need special instructions for better performance...

    Personally, I think that Apple's going to have Motorola try to make the G4 a lower power, cooler, yet faster chip for portables, and use this new Power4 for their desktops... Now, the day you get a laptop with a Power4... :D
  24. macrumors 68020


    I don't think you will ever see OSX on IBM mainframes... We know that Steve Jobs doesn't like for the Mac OS to run on any other computer than an Apple. IBM can make the processors for Apple's servers, but since Apple is very strict about the hardware of their computers, I doubt anyone else will ever make a computer to run the Mac OS...
  25. macrumors member

    Re: Re: Re: IBM Power4 and Apple

    Yes I've heard of the iBook....but since I am new to the Mac world I am not aware of the goings on.....

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