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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,972
17,356
At their POWER press event today, IBM announced a new Power licensee, new customers, and plans for reconfiguring processors.

- Sony has licensed the Power architecture from IBM
- L-3 Communications, Global Brands Manufacture Group, Memory Experts International, Block/Goldring, Christie Digital, and Princeton University are new customers
- Power5 demo running multiple operating systems in virtual micropartitions

A new "open hardware era":

IBM also will explore the notion of opening up our community and collaboration around Power Architecture. We will look at new governance models that will allow us to involve the community in Power Architecture's future and to help set the stage for further innovation

Also discussed were plans for Power chips that "can physically reconfigure themselves -- adding memory or accelerators, for example -- to optimize performance or power utilization for a specific application."
 

technocoy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 4, 2002
765
0
Raleigh, NC
pretty exciting stuff...

if you ask me anyway.

when they say physically restructure, are we talking nanotechnology? or just allocating already in place hardware.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
I wonder why the new PC chip wasn't mentioned. In the commercial fro the G5 last year the vice-president at IBM, said that they were already working the the next generation chip! :confused:
 

Mudbug

Administrator emeritus
Jun 28, 2002
3,848
1
North Central Colorado
good stuff - but I too wonder of the implications for Apple (if there really are any current that need to be addressed) and I'm wondering if there's any mention of scalability of current chips.

and the deal with Sony being a new licensee - does that mean Sony's getting into the server market, or going to be using these chips in desktop models, or am I just misunderstanding?
 

Zaty

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2004
1,215
2
Switzerland
Macrumors said:
- Power5 demo running multiple operating systems in virtual micropartitions

Running multiple operating systems? Does that mean I could e.g. run OS X and Linux concurrently?
 
well, I'm looking forward to this thread once we get some people who can explain just what this means. Is sony making windows based PC's with IBM chips? What exactly is this physical restructuring, will it have vast effects or just be a small nifty feature that notches performance up a bit? Why isn't there much talk of anything that looks like it could be that directly relevant to apple?

Somebody's gotta know....

(and it isn't me)
 

Rustus Maximus

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2003
365
466
technocoy said:
when they say physically restructure, are we talking nanotechnology? or just allocating already in place hardware.

Sounds like Skynet trickery to me! ;)

Mudbug said:
and the deal with Sony being a new licensee - does that mean Sony's getting into the server market, or going to be using these chips in desktop models, or am I just misunderstanding?

I think I have read where the deal with Sony is for the CPU in the next generation Playstation.
 

macridah

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2004
868
0
Nor-Cal
Mudbug said:
good stuff - but I too wonder of the implications for Apple (if there really are any current that need to be addressed) and I'm wondering if there's any mention of scalability of current chips.

and the deal with Sony being a new licensee - does that mean Sony's getting into the server market, or going to be using these chips in desktop models, or am I just misunderstanding?


I hope sony doesn't use the chips for computers; that might make apple have to wait longer for chips. Most likely, sony will use a different version of the power 5 chips for consumer goods: cameras, dvd players, TV's, etc
 

macphisto

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2002
233
13
At home
Oh, and my favorite part of the article

"POWER5 will be the "brain" of a new line of powerful computer systems that will be introduced in 2004."

Hmm, one wonders what new line this will be...cough, Apple.
 

hvfsl

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2001
1,857
167
London, UK
macridah said:
I hope sony doesn't use the chips for computers; that might make apple have to wait longer for chips. Most likely, sony will use a different version of the power 5 chips for consumer goods: cameras, dvd players, TV's, etc
Most likely Sony will start making highend computers around the chips. Probably with a version of Linux/Unix. Those chips are a bit of an overkill for devices like dvd players or even TIVO type devices.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
All next-gen game consoles to use PowerPC?

That's true isn't it? X-Box, Nintendo, and the next Sony PlayStation will all use PowerPCs from IBM?

I assume that's what the Sony license is about.

Does this license mean that Sony will USE IBM chips? I assume NOT, since that's what the list of new "customers" would be.

So I assume this means that Sony can now BUILD THEIR OWN PowerPC chips. For the PlayStation 3, presumably. They have licensed the "architecture."

Thus Sony would not take chips away from what IBM can make for Apple, but would still promote the PPC platform in general. It certainly doesn't make G5s and beyond sound half bad, if all the next-gen high-power game machines including MS's own have chosen PowerPC. And this Sony thing may underscore what Mac folks already know: IBM isn't the only one who might produce PPC chips. Unlike Intel's line, which must be indirectly "cloned."

I also like the idea of more companies than just Apple collaborating with IBM to enhance future PPCs. Sounds like trouble for x86!

Or am I way off here?
 

dukemeiser

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2002
529
0
Iowa
Yep, Sony will use it for the PS3 just as M$ is going to use IBM for xBOx 2. Gamecube already uses PowerPCs
 

macridah

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2004
868
0
Nor-Cal
hvfsl said:
Most likely Sony will start making highend computers around the chips. Probably with a version of Linux/Unix. Those chips are a bit of an overkill for devices like dvd players or even TIVO type devices.

I didn't think they would use the 970fx or anything, the powerpc chip architecture comes in different flavors ... like the chips that xbox and nintendo will use. Which brings up a new point ... PS3
 

Krrill

macrumors newbie
Mar 23, 2004
20
0
Toronto Ont.
Anyone know or understand the architecture of those chips they're showing? Or are they just gonna tease us to death as usual?
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,091
23
UK
que the ppc 980 will it be the g6 or just like the 7410 was to the 7400
 

gola

macrumors member
Sep 8, 2003
33
0
bergen, norway
This will be just great! Increasing attention and sales of the power architechture will make Apple cooler, and also increase the update rate! For once it will not be Apple against the world!
 

lilac_wine

macrumors newbie
Mar 31, 2004
1
0
reconfiguration

My First Post.

It is likely that reconfiguration will occur through some SRAM FPGA type technology. SRAM reconfiguration can take a long time to complete (milli-seconds), so I am sure IBM has some new technology for doing it, but the basics will probably resemble FPGAs

The two big FPGA manufacturers already have products that combine processors with FPGAs. In some cases the processor is implemented in the FPGA fabric. In other products the processor is in hard silicon and tied to the FPGA fabric to implement custom peripherals.

http://altera.com/index.jsp#
http://xilinx.com/

Here is a company that claims to be able to do what IBM is likely talking about. I do not know anything about them.
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci760378,00.html

I am just guessing at what IBM has in mind.
 

cbrantly

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2002
30
0
Sony & Apple in Bed Together

What if Sony is purchasing chips from IBM to build their own desktop computers, and they have struck an exclusive deal with Steve to license OS X???

Maybe that will get this thread going...
 

jyvin

macrumors member
May 15, 2003
43
0
Kansas City, MO
There is some interesting information about the PowerPC arch. in the PDFs IBM made available. This is what I gathered from it... In one of the documents it said the 970fx was 1.4-2.0+ GHz. Further down on the same page it said the bus speeds maxed out at 1.1 GHz. Using the present 970fx in production by Apple, does that mean the new 970fx can only get up to 2.2 GHz? That would certainly mean there is not an updated PowerMac using the 970 or 970fx. Which means Apple is waiting on the POWER5 to take off. The document I was referencing is found here:

http://www-306.ibm.com/chips/techlib/techlib.nsf/techdocs/7874C7DA8607C0B287256BF3006FBE54/$file/PPC_QRG_2-22-04.pdf

What do you all think?
 
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