Altivec co-processor?

oldMac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 25, 2001
522
1
Ok... So maybe IBM isn't interested in putting Altivec instructions in their PowerPCs.

But tell me, what would stop Motorola or another Altivec licensee from creating a co-processor that handles Altivec instructions?

Could we be looking at IBM G5s with a Motorola (or other party) Altivec unit?
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
Re: Altivec co-processor?

Originally posted by oldMac
Ok... So maybe IBM isn't interested in putting Altivec instructions in their PowerPCs.

But tell me, what would stop Motorola or another Altivec licensee from creating a co-processor that handles Altivec instructions?

Could we be looking at IBM G5s with a Motorola (or other party) Altivec unit?
IBM can't put "AltiVec" in its PowerPCs because AltiVec is a Motorola trademark. They could instead design their own AltiVec-compatible vector processor and call it something else. A 4x32-bit PPC vector processor is a 4x32-bit PPC vector processor. A standalone AltiVec chip would be possible, but not likely (in my opinion) - the trend in computer logic has been consolidation of components, not fragmentation.
 

rice_web

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2001
584
0
Minot, North Dakota
Because that would clog the already satured system bus. Unless Altivec is on the processor running at full speed, Altivec would provide very little in terms of performance gain, and would fill the system bus much more quickly.

It is a good idea though, especially if Apple moved over to IBM processors that lacked an Altivec alternative.