The PowerPC 980 Roadmap

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. macrumors bot


    The PowerPC 980 Processor is a rumored chip to be coming from IBM as a followup to the PowerPC 970. Just as the PowerPC 970 is based on the Power4 Processor, the PowerPC 980 is rumored to be based on the upcoming Power5 Processor.

    First hints of a new derivative chip came from this extensive roadmap of the PowerPC, Apple, Motorola and IBM's relationships from November 2002. At that time, the PowerPC 970 had been announced by IBM but not yet publicly endorsed by Apple. Apple later announced PowerPC 970 based PowerMacs in June of the following year (2003).

    Today, Appleinsider reports that the PowerPC 970 will max out at 2.6GHz with the Power 980 coming due in Q3 of 2004 to bring the PowerMac line up to and beyond 3.0GHz. The 980 is reportedly a 90nm chip and may be branded as the G6. Appleinsider also comments on updates to the subsystems of the upcoming PowerMacs offering significant performance gains.

    This "980 @ 3GHz" timeframe was echoed by a detailed report from July 2003. In that report, Apple and IBM were said to be working on parallel development of the Power5 and PowerPC 980. That report also claimed that the 3GHz PowerMac would not arrive by way of the 970 -- which was said to top out at 2.6-2.8GHz, while the 980 was expected to start at 2.6-3GHz (from the July report).

    A subsequent report noted that Apple was already given PowerPC 980 samples in October, and also made predictions about 90nm 970 based PowerMac updates in February at 2.5-2.8GHz. The also offered significant details regarding cache, SPEC scores, and bus multipliers on the as-yet-unannounced PowerPC 980.

    Without any tangible releases from these rumors, it's hard to gauge their accuracy, though the information appears to be consistent.
  2. macrumors 6502a



    5 GHZ man...According to the Apple Insider article the Power 980 could max out this high.

    Edit: just adding explanation to 5GHz remark
  3. macrumors regular

    I seriously doubt they'll brand anything as "G6" by the middle of next year. Still, this is good news as I've been planning for a year on buying a new tower at the end of next summer.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    i dont even have a g5 yet... they cant put out a g6... holy crap!!!
  5. macrumors 6502

    I want my positronic brain implant

    As long as they are making faster macs they can called what ever they want..:)
  6. mvc
    macrumors 6502a


    Sounds flash…

    I'm just Looking forward to Rev.B.

    Don't think i can wait for the 980 tho, much as it sounds like a total killer.
  7. macrumors regular

    For some reason I just can't connect to Appleinsider atm, anybody else got the same problem? Or is it just my internet connection that's messing with me?
  8. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    this reminds me so much of g3 and g4 when they came out.
  9. macrumors 6502a



    Faster faster faster! I wanna go faster! I wonder if they do have a light based processor in the works though . .
  10. mvc
    macrumors 6502a


    Absolutely, the G5 brand will be milked for all its worth for a coupla years, until it starts getting "old" or Intel threatens to put out a P6. THEN we'll see the G6.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    i heard light goes pretty fast...
  12. macrumors regular

    Crossbar Switch

    Appleinsider also reports the new machines may include a Crossbar Switch: "and will use a crossbar switch to speed communication between processor"

    I believe (don't know what else it could be) this is like SGI's implementation of a Crossbar Switch which could bring major speed improvements.

    From SGI's site: "The unsurpassed crossbar switch design of Octane2 provides excellent levels of interactivity with critical data transfers, such as loading a 3D model from memory to the screen or processing high-definition video images in realtime. The 1.0GB-per-second peak main memory bandwidth and 1.6GB-per-second peak bandwidth between subsystems ensure that you experience smooth, fluid operations while completing even the most complex tasks"
  13. macrumors 603


    Re: The PowerPC 980 Roadmap

    Bah! Forget about the G6. Just call it the Gwiz. Too bad Nvidia has the GForce.
  14. macrumors 65816

    Bah, I'm still betting against this. The 130nm 970 can go higher than 2.0ghz and its not unreasonable to expect the 90nm 970 to hit 3.0ghz. IMO, the most reasonable course of events would be faster 130nm 970's early in 2004 followed by 90nm 970's in the summer.
  15. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Its so cool to see this after agonizing over every 67 mghz motorola bump, that is if it happened at all. im sure just as many were waiting for Apple to dump motorola out of the pro towers there are many waiting for Apple to Dump the g4 out of the imac line or at least introduce a new line of G5's for the consumer. the G5 & G6 line is looking so so sweet. 10 times the bus speed of the G4 and double the clock !
  16. macrumors 68020


    Re: Crossbar Switch

    There's nothing "new" about a crossbar switch. Sun, SGI and others have used them for years. It's simply a technique used to remove the latency issues associated with multiple subsystems (cpu, i/o, video, etc.) sharing a buss. With a crossbar implementation, you can have multiple point-to-point connections simultaneously; no subsystem has to wait for the buss to become available.
  17. macrumors 68000


    As great as the 970 is, it's looking more and more like it was just a stop-gap solution. And it kind of makes me question whether I should get a Power Mac G5 rev. 2 this February like I was originally planning. I know I know, there's always something better around the corner. But the jump from 970 to 980 may be bigger in performance (per clock) than from G4 to 970.

    And a year from now, 10.4 or whatever the latest OS update is, should be even more optimized for the G5.
  18. macrumors 68020


    The Apple/IBM report, cited above, says the 90nm 970 will top out at 2.6-2.8 GHz and that it will require the 980 at 90 nm to hit 3 GHz.
  19. macrumors regular

    I think what this article is saying is that there is no 90mm 970. They're saying that when IBM hits 90mm it's going to be in a 980.
  20. macrumors 6502

    I love my G5 1.8

    But then apple came out with the dual 1.8 at the same price a month later, but that is just the way it it.
  21. macrumors 65816


    Speaking of all these chip advances...

    Hasn't Intel been stuck at 3.2Ghz for some time?

    Are they having problems going faster without causing a meltdown?
  22. macrumors 603


    I wonder if we will ever see G5 PowerBooks?

    Apple may just skip to G5 PowerBooks, if they can keep them cool enough.
  23. macrumors 6502

    They released the p4 extreme, they will be releasing a 64bit chip pretty soon, also, suppose to bump up to 3.4 pretty soon.

    Its all about AMD right now though :D with the Opteron.
  24. macrumors 68000


    Is it a sure thing that they'll even bother with a 90nm 970? I thought they'd try to eek out another iteration with a 130nm 970 and then go directly to a 90nm 980. I'm assuming that the 980 is more power-efficient than the 970, given that the Power5 is more efficient than the Power4.

    So what will make it into the PowerBooks and iMacs? The 90nm 970 or the 90nm 980?

    many questions...
  25. macrumors regular

    Re: Re: Crossbar Switch

    Do you read what people write before you reply?
    But thanks for the added information.

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