Intel AND PPC - is this possible?

jeremy.king

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
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Fuquay Varina, NC
I got to imagine this idea is not original and someone else may have posted it. With that said, I am wondering of the feasibility of the following idea.

If the Intel rumors are true and Apple is committed to migrating to an "proprietary" x86 CPU architecture - Is it technically possible to come up with a hybrid dual processor system with one Intel based CPU and one G5?

If so, this would allow the OS to route applications compiled on PPC to run on the PPC CPU, while the OS and applications that were recompiled (or newly developed) would run on the Intel proc? This would seemingly solve most the problems of an architecture change without the need for emulation, since "legacy" apps could still run on a new architecture. Obviously some sort of really intelligent controller mechanism would need to be engineered to route the appropriate CPU calls to the correct CPU. think of it like the old school Power macs with DOS cards without the overhead of another OS running. Obviously longer term would eventually phase out the hybrid DP system, replacing it with a dual Intel offering.

The closest analogy I could think of is Java - in that Java programs can call native libraries/system calls written in another language using JNI. Obviously the scope of a similar hardware based idea is much larger.

Thoughts? I am hoping the hardware uber-geeks can shed some light on this thought and if it may be technically possible.
 

combatcolin

macrumors 68020
Oct 24, 2004
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Northants, UK
I don't think you can do that.

Dual core works by duplicating some of the CPU, as it stands a Dual Core is about as powerful as 1 2/3 CPU.

Having 86 and PPC is like having an engine that has Petrol and Dielsel, far too complicated and expensive for very little gain.

I'm hoping than Intel, if the rumors are true, make a PPC chips, maybe licensed from IBM or Freescale (Nee Motorola)
 

jeremy.king

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
5,478
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Fuquay Varina, NC
Not dual core...dual processor.

I see a significant gain. If you can keep the transition to x86 transparent to the users, then that is worth it.
 

combatcolin

macrumors 68020
Oct 24, 2004
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Northants, UK
Ah, i see what you mean now.

And, no, i don't think that would work.

Twice the price for half the power, not very appealing to paying customers.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
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Well the change from the AMD MIPS processor in the next generation Airport is a possibility.

So is putting an Intel ARM processor in the next generation iPod or video iPod.

Either of which Intel is probably kicking themselves that Apple hasn't bitten yet.

But Intel in the PowerMac would be problematic for a lot developers wishing a "native" app, there will be a lot more problems than Virtual PC had on the G5.

VPC lost out when Apple went from biendian to a big endian chip -- one has to wonder how many endian neutral apps are out there if they do adopt a little endian chip.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
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Gone but not forgotten.
kingjr3 said:
Not dual core...dual processor.

I see a significant gain. If you can keep the transition to x86 transparent to the users, then that is worth it.
You should take a look in the history books at the Commodore SuperPET. It had a 6502, a 6809, and a Z80 in one machine.
 

jeremy.king

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
5,478
1
Fuquay Varina, NC
bousozoku said:
You should take a look in the history books at the Commodore SuperPET. It had a 6502, a 6809, and a Z80 in one machine.
I'll definitely read up on that. Funny, I used to play on a PET when I was in grade school. I was severly addicted to O'dell Lake.

Thanks for the info :D