Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

IBM's Processor Plans after the 970

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,485
13,125
eWeek reports that IBM is planning to take on Sun and HP with low-end and ultra-low-end Linux servers.

The new servers will be based on the PowerPC 970 (aka GPUL internally). eWeek reports that by mid-2004, there will be a replacement processor for these servers known as GPUL2 - which is simply described as an updated version of the PowerPC 970.

The rumor-mill has dubbed a Power5 derivative chip to be known as the "980"... but no official IBM announcements have even confirmed the existance of such a project. Speculatively, the GPUL2 could represent the "980" or simply die-shrink of the 970.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,648
4,424
presumably, the GPUL2 will be the processor that brings us to 3GHz - since it's due in Mid-2004.

arn
 
Comment

RHutch

macrumors 6502
May 21, 2003
291
0
Amsterdam, OH
I just want to keep hearing about progress from IBM. I don't even want to think about the kind of stagnation that Motorola gave Apple and us.
 
Comment

Freg3000

macrumors 68000
Sep 22, 2002
1,914
0
New York
So GPLU2 is the 970 at 90nm. Nothing really that we didn't expect. I am surprised that the 980 (although not talked about by IBM) could simply be the 970 at 90nm. I don't know much about the naming of processors, but why would a different name be given to an old product with a smaller die size?
 
Comment

ennerseed

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2002
142
0
oh yes

I remember when news of updated processors came quarterly, this is sooo much better.
 
Comment

jouster

macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2002
1,202
159
Connecticut
So, who gets first dibs on the 970s, if there isn't enough to go around.......Apple or IBM.

Still, it's not like there might be a shortage, er..........
 
Comment

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,876
1,190
The Netherlands
So with IBM keeping us informed about the future..... this site should be renamed: MacNews.com :D

I feel so relieved since THE WWDC: Apple is here to stay. The future us bright.
 
Comment

Sayhey

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2003
1,690
2
San Francisco
I'm just glad Apple is teamed with a chip manufacturer that has a plan! It looks like the PowerPC has a lot of growth in its future. I don't think the folks at Moto every got over Jobs pulling the plug on the clones. They didn't seem to want to put any money in aggressively pushing chip development.
 
Comment

settledown

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2003
246
0
pittsburgh
I just had a stupid thought...since Apple is great at the consumer level and just getting started at the low-end business server level (using Unix), and IBM is great at the mid to large sized servers and busines mainframes, (using Linux) ......does anyone think that a partnership/merger between Apple and IBM has any legs or has any business sense?

Apple continuing to make the consumer and portables, and adding user level workstations to their model list.

IBM doing what they do, but making their business servers integrate with OSX

Or do I have no idea what I am saying?

disclaimer: this is just a friday afternoon brainfart, so dont take it too heavily
 
Comment

Rustus Maximus

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2003
365
466
Originally posted by jouster
So, who gets first dibs on the 970s, if there isn't enough to go around.......Apple or IBM.

Still, it's not like there might be a shortage, er..........

I'd say this is a pretty good indicator that the 'production problems' the other article posted today alludes to, are not as severe as some were making them out (hoping them) to be. Obviously there's gonna be enough 970's to go 'round...:cool:
 
Comment

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,876
1,190
The Netherlands
One happy family, eh settledown?

I like the idea of "keeping out of eachother's water".
I'm sure IBM doesn't want to HAVE to license M$' Windoze on every consumer PC they're making (M$ are not the gr8test friends of IBM, since OS/2).
So IBM sells the PPC 970 to Apple who will be responsible for the sales of IBM's consumer chip. No Intel, no M$.
Apple likes the idea, giving them a gr8 chip, with a pretty stable and predictable future. Apple can also play with the low-end Server market, using it's own Unix.
IBM holds the high- and middle-end Server market (Linux, or AIX)...
Or won't it work: I've probably had one too many already.....
 
Comment

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,561
402
Location Location Location
@Settledown: Its a great idea. However, I'd rather Apple have some autonomy, and they just work out a more detailed and cojoined plan to partner together instead of merge or anything drastic like that. I like Apple as a corporation, not IBM: Apple division.
 
Comment

ffakr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2002
617
0
Chicago
Originally posted by Freg3000
So GPLU2 is the 970 at 90nm. Nothing really that we didn't expect. I am surprised that the 980 (although not talked about by IBM) could simply be the 970 at 90nm. I don't know much about the naming of processors, but why would a different name be given to an old product with a smaller die size?

I think the article is a bit vague in this respect. They simply said that GPUL2 will be a revision of the 970.
You _could_ say that the Power5 is a revision of the Power4... just like you could make an argument that a die shrink isn't a revision if the logic is the same.

Personally I would be surprised if IBM only delivers a die shrink to .09 micron by next summer. Fishkill was supposed to be bringing .09micron on line this past feburary.
Personally, I'd wager that we'll see a new core, an off shoot of the Power5 by next summer. I think we'll likely see a process shrink late this year with a corresponding power decrease and speed increase. This is just based off of news I've heard about Fishkill and about the progress of the Power5 (working servers running Power5, first boot up months ago...)
 
Comment

settledown

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2003
246
0
pittsburgh
I would like apple and ibm to stay somehow separate also, but some type of partnership where IBM stays out of Apples way(no more comsumer desktops)
And Apple stays out of IBMs way(no servers)

something like, Apple xserve powered by ibm, and IBM netvista powered by Apple

not a merger but a partnership
 
Comment

Jon the Heretic

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2003
253
20
No merger, please

I would not be in favor of an IBM-Apple merger. While IBM has traditionally given some of its more independent-minded acquisitions a lot of lattitude (Lotus often forgets they are part of IBM, except when Variable Pay comes rolling along in the spring), it would still not be the best idea.

Apple: Right now they enjoy a lot of success from Jobs and his RDF. MacOS X still needs a lot of work before it fill the *ease of use* boots of its predecessor (yes, it stomps the traditional MacOS to dust in terms of stability and buzzword compliance, but did you expect anything less than this with ANY UNIX variant Apple might have utilized as the basis of their next OS? Stability comes without saying; ease of use is the hard part, and X has a long way to go.) Until X has successfully taken the usability crown, pray that Jobs stays at the helm. X has lots of promise, but Jobs' continual reign is a big reason some Mac users have started to defend it and its foibles as earnestly as they did the many foibles of the traditional MacOS. An IBM merger would destroy this; it would demystify Jobs at best, remove him at worse.

IBM: They don't NEED another hardware company. IBM *loses* money on PCs and struggles (all too often) with other hardware. Servers and mainframes are still profitable but IBM knows how fickle that market is---hence the big push to services. IBM just DUMPED their leading edge hardware business---best hard drives in the world but losing money. Forget it!

IBM has carved out a wonderful niche in manufacturing chips. They are delightfully mercenary and flexible when it comes to chips. IBM works on improving the fab processing, and sells it to anyone who wants to make great chips---On Demand. Bring your own chip design or buy an IBM design---whatever the heck you want. For this to succeed, IBM needs lots of chip customers and Apple looks best at the other end of the spreadsheet. The chip business for IBM has an almost servicey-twist. They don't want to sell chips per se (they have made chips for AMD among others, who DO want to sell them) but want customers to pay them to make chips for them.

Apple+IBM together: A pretty bad mix of cultures. IBM may no longer be the company of career suits (many IBMers work out of their homes. At work, they primarily go Hagar and Dockers. Execs may wear suits but then again they certainly get paid enough for the inconvenience.) Even so, IBMers aren't hippies or into the whole design boutique concept that has driven Apple sales ever since they tossed "ease of use" as their mantra.

Even Apple's most serious folk, their human factors scientists --- their User Experience people --- well, they don't live at Apple anymore. Apple has dumped the scientist (who would feel at home at IBM) for the boutiquey artist, who follows just enough of what yesteryear's Apple UI scientist came up with to fix a few of the most glaring UI issues, but only after gathering a year or two's worth of angry feedback from end users, and then figuring out how much Ease of Use to build in without sacrificing too much Cool. What drives them is COOL, and IBM doesn't get --- or gives a rat's arse -- about cool.

The two companies belong where they are---completely separate but each doing what they do best.
 
Comment

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,876
1,190
The Netherlands
I agree with you guys...
In my "own water" post I merely stated that Apple and IBM don't compete, which is a good thing for both of them. Brothers in arms, if ya like.

I wish Apple will ALWAYS be an independant compay! And I hope that Steve or someone like Steve (his "visions") will remain the CEO.
Apple and IBM are culturally (if I can may describe them like this) so very different. IBM is THE example of a business model, Apple is THE example of creativity.
 
Comment

Jon the Heretic

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2003
253
20
Doubtful

Originally posted by Brent Turbo
It would be terribly embarassing if IBM's PPC970 machines were much cheaper than Apple's G5s.

Doubtful: IBM won't be building G5 PCs---they will build G5 *servers*. It is possible (but still unlikely) that IBM's G5 servers will be cheaper than Apple's G5 Xserves, but don't count on it. IBM likes to build rock solid, hardhitting servers which great reliability and performance characteristics and thus with a nice profit margin compared to commodity PCs. They won't look cool but they will do their jobs well and be well engineered.

Want cheap? Buy a crappy PC and stick Linux on it: IBM will help you do that for you too, if you wanna :)

Different topic: I wonder if an IBM G5 system will even run MacOS X out of the box? (Licensing aside...just technically, is it possible?) Many RS/6000s (PPC 601 and 604e) were running MacOS 8.x during the CHRP days, and X is more portable, not less, than MacOS 8.x was.
 
Comment

ffakr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2002
617
0
Chicago
Re: Doubtful

Originally posted by Jon the Heretic
Doubtful: IBM won't be building G5 PCs---they will build G5 *servers*. It is possible (but still unlikely) that IBM's G5 servers will be cheaper than Apple's G5 Xserves, but don't count on it. IBM likes to build rock solid, hardhitting servers which great reliability and performance characteristics and thus with a nice profit margin compared to commodity PCs. They won't look cool but they will do their jobs well and be well engineered.
that looks like an accurate assessment. I just looked at their site and their dual xeon 1U servers are pretty pricey, even with no OS

Different topic: I wonder if an IBM G5 system will even run MacOS X out of the box? (Licensing aside...just technically, is it possible?) Many RS/6000s (PPC 601 and 604e) were running MacOS 8.x during the CHRP days, and X is more portable, not less, than MacOS 8.x was.
It will still lack the Apple licensed rom. It may not boot strap with OF (though it could)... it will likely have different AISCs unless IBM licenses Apple's design (which it very well could). At the very least it will likely have different components on the board for which Apple doesn't include drivers.
I don't recall any CHRP machine every running OS 8 btw. CHRP (and PReP) were kind of failures... IBM released a free design for a PPC machine and no one showed up for the party (with an OS or a product based off of it). I could be wrong, but that's how I remember it. Are you thinking of the clones as being CHRP? I don't think they were (Moto was the only one with a non Apple chipset and Apple had to OK the design.. and they still needed the proprietary ROM)

I think the big news here has been missed up till now. If IBM markets a quad processor PPC 970 server. Apple has a ready supplier for a 4 way PPC chipset!!! This would make it somewhat trivial for Apple to release a 4 way server if they want to.
 
Comment

settledown

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2003
246
0
pittsburgh
i think some od you are missing the piont here. the fact that they ARE different cultures, is good. IBM doesnt make appealing consumer desktops because of their stuffed shirts, they should let apple do that for them. Apple doesnt make big servers well, because they are too busy being cool....they should let ibm do that for them.

the key is for ibms servers to work well with apples desktops for the business market. the windows stronghold (business workstations) would get a good run for its money from the appeal and solid osX of apples computers, but only if they have the server backoffice of good ol reliable and trustworthy, stuffed shirt IBM.

again not a merger, but let each company do what they do well, but with the other company in mind, and as a compliment
 
Comment

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,876
1,190
The Netherlands
Originally posted by settledown
i think some od you are missing the piont here. the fact that they ARE different cultures, is good. IBM doesnt make appealing consumer desktops because of their stuffed shirts, they should let apple do that for them. Apple doesnt make big servers well, because they are too busy being cool....they should let ibm do that for them.

the key is for ibms servers to work well with apples desktops for the business market. the windows stronghold (business workstations) would get a good run for its money from the appeal and solid osX of apples computers, but only if they have the server backoffice of good ol reliable and trustworthy, stuffed shirt IBM.

again not a merger, but let each company do what they do well, but with the other company in mind, and as a compliment

exactly
 
Comment

Jon the Heretic

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2003
253
20
Re: Re: Doubtful

Originally posted by ffakr
I don't recall any CHRP machine every running OS 8 btw. CHRP (and PReP) were kind of failures... IBM released a free design for a PPC machine and no one showed up for the party (with an OS or a product based off of it). I could be wrong, but that's how I remember it. Are you thinking of the clones as being CHRP? I don't think they were (Moto was the only one with a non Apple chipset and Apple had to OK the design.. and they still needed the proprietary ROM)

Yes, these existed and probably still do somewhere. They weren't clones, but RS/6000s (PPC 601 or PPC 604e) which used the CHRP architecture. They could run a CHRP version of MacOS 8.x. A buddy of mine was at IBM Research and played with one of these a few years ago.

Although they did exist, running the MacOS on a multiprocessor $10,000+ RS/6000 isn't exactly cost effective, nor did the traditional MacOS make very good use of the multiple processor 604/604e systems. IBM still makes good use of the 604e, if you must know. It is a great multiprocessor chip without all of the altivec baggage they could have cared less about.

Clones: Not CHRP per se---they used Apple-designed motherboards and parts! CHRP was intended to allieve the reliance on Apple components and the need for Apple to design reference motherboards for their own Mac-cloning competitors. As far as I know, only Apple and IBM ever released anything based on CHRP (all of Apple's New World systems were heavily influenced by the CHRP design). I can't recall if the BeBox was CHRP but that is pretty moribund, may the BeOS rest in peace.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.