Motorola at 90-nanometers

arn

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Apr 9, 2001
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Reuters reports that Motorola, STMicroelectronics and Philips have partnered to produce 90-nm chips:

U.S. based Motorola said on Friday its partnership with two other semiconductor makers will probably be the first to produce a new generation of microchips, beating Intel by at least six months

No details on how this will influence PowerPC production.
 

barkmonster

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Dec 3, 2001
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Well that's a good sign for the future. I mean I'm sure they could pump the clockspeed up without any negative performance hits (pipeline stage increases etc...). Maybe that huge fan in the new G4s are for some new moto cpu, maybe the people complaining about no (non existent) PPC7470 being in the new towers will get their new cpu early next year and then apple are saving the IBM PowerPC chip for a rollout of a 64bit powermac a year from now.

Of course all that speculation aside, it's good to see motorla advancing again instead of sitting on their hands like they've done for a few years.
 

User X

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Jul 17, 2002
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We can only hope this will lead to faster Power PC chips. Somthing has got to give.
 

dongmin

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Belden also said the alliance would start production of a high-performance chip by the fourth quarter of this year and a lower performing version in the third quarter of 2003.

Interesting...but it sounds like these chips are mainly for portable devices like phones, etc. I doubt a partnership with Phillips and STM will have much benefit for Macs.

It'd be interesting if Apple decided to go with IBM for desktops, where heat and power is not a concern, and Motorola for laptops and devices.

My feeling is that Motorola is abandoning development for chips designed to run on higher-end PCs. They seem interested solely in the embedded market (network equip., phones, consumer devices, etc.).
 

drastik

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Apr 10, 2002
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I'm not sure we are ever going to see one of these in a Mac. Personally, I think that the Power4's are the way to go. Motorolla has been jerking apple around for two years now. Even if they make a great chip, drop them like a rock, I say.
 

ddtlm

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Aug 20, 2001
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I'm sure G4's will remain Apple's low-end chip for a long time because the Power4-lite will probably be very expensive (and because Apple wants there to be a performance division between top and bottom end).

There is no question that Moto will some day make 90nm G4's (or equivilent). Not only are they better than what we have now because they are cooler running and can be clocked higher, but they are also cheaper to make! A 90nm P4 from Intel is probably not a whole lot more expensive to make than a 180nm G4 from Moto, despite the P4 being so complex and the G4 so simple.

Anyway, if Moto if gona beat Intel by 6 months, that means they should be rolling off chips about, oh, now. Is that happening? No. Intel's 90nm P4 is scheduled for first half of 2003 easily, and it will pack a full 1mb of L2 cache on die. Ouch!

Hopefully the Power4-lite is moving along...
 

BRussell

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Aug 25, 2002
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Originally posted by drastik
I'm not sure we are ever going to see one of these in a Mac. Personally, I think that the Power4's are the way to go. Motorolla has been jerking apple around for two years now. Even if they make a great chip, drop them like a rock, I say.
OK, they use the Power4-lite in the PowerMacs. But then what about the other lines of Macs? They're surely not going to put a Power4 in the iMac/eMac, let alone the PowerBook, for some time. Do they stick with the c. 1Ghz Apollo for the next several years until the Power4 variant is small enough?

I think the key to Apple's future chip fortunes is diversification. IBM's Power4-variant in the PowerMacs, Motorola's .09µ G4 in the iMac/eMac/PowerBook, IBM's Sahara and subsequent variations on it in the iBook. Then they can see how the various lines emerge over 2003-2004, and make a choice then if necessary.
 

AmigaMac

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Jul 18, 2002
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more support and IBM?!

Well with Amiga's reentry into the hardware space and adopting IBM's offerings should help push things along in the PowerPC front. Of course Nintendo's presence is also helpful. So I think things can only get better!
 

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Timothy

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Jan 2, 2002
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Blah...blah...blah...

All talk...

We don't even have any 1.25 ghz chips yet, and probably won't for 2-3 months yet. So, I have very little hope for seeing any "new" chip anytime in the next 6-9 months.

Pathetic...
 

ddtlm

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Aug 20, 2001
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Timothy:

Extremism appears to be part of the whole Apple-user thing. First, people (not incluing me) run off and believe unrealistic rumors about dual 1.6's and DDR FSB's. Next, people (not including me) run off and deny that Apple is ever going to ship thier 1.25.

Ehem. It is announced, and the weeks-till-shipping are counting down as time passes (it was recently pointed out to me that they started with an ETA of 6-8 weeks and did drop to 4-6 weeks at the proper time).
 

gregorypierce

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Jan 28, 2002
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Sadly I agree with Timothy. While its nice that they made their announcement before Intel, unless they can produce tangible VOLUMES of chips using the process - it is a meaningless milestone.
 

chubakka

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Feb 27, 2002
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Not for apple...

I think if the chips were intended for Apple hardware they would have been sure to mention it in thier press release. Also, if there was some spped breakthrough the would have hyped that too.
 

BRussell

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Aug 25, 2002
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Re: Not for apple...

Originally posted by chubakka
I think if the chips were intended for Apple hardware they would have been sure to mention it in thier press release. Also, if there was some spped breakthrough the would have hyped that too.
No way. Only Steve and his ego announce things for Apple - you should know that. Not in a million years would they talk about Apple in this context.

Of course, that doesn't mean it will be used by Apple. But not mentioning Apple certainly doesn't mean Apple won't use it.
 

ddtlm

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Aug 20, 2001
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chubakka:

Has IBM or Moto ever announced that a chip they are making is for an Apple product before Apple does? For example, IBM announced the 750FX long before it turned up in an iBook, and as far as I know they never mentioned Apple as a customer.

At this point denying that the Power4-lite will end up in a Mac is every bit as unrealistic and extreme as everyone who proclaimed G5's last spring and everyone who talks about 7470's to be announced at any moment.

We have to look at the two most important facts: (1) Apple needs a chip like the Power4-lite, and (2) IBM is designing/producing it. IBM will not turn down a customer... the ball is in Apple's court. Who really things they would choose to stay with G4's?
 

chubakka

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Feb 27, 2002
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junping the gun

I just think that we know WAY less about these chips then we do about the new IBM PowerPC chip. Which is extremely likely to be used by Apple.

Also... Motorola's priorities are clear... they are primarily a supplier of chips for mobile devices... that's where the bulk of thier business is now. This announcement only bolsters this position.
 

AmigaMac

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Jul 18, 2002
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""and (2) IBM is designing/producing it. IBM will not turn down a customer... the ball is in Apple's court. Who really things they would choose to stay with G4's?""

Especially since IBM wants to make a profit out of that new chip plant they opened up a month ago! It looks like IBM wants to be agressive in the microprocessor arena again!
 

ddtlm

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Aug 20, 2001
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chubakka:

Perhaps you are confused, because the Power4-lite is the new IBM PowerPC chip, as far as I know. We know the Power4 exists and performs well, but is far to large, expensive and hot to ever work in a desktop machine. The Power4-lite, however, was declared by IBM to be designed for desktops. That sounds a lot like it will be suitable for Apple to use some day.

Apple needs the Power4-lite, and IBM would love customers.
 

chubakka

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Feb 27, 2002
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we don't KNOW...

IBM makes powerpc chips for thier own use too... I'm not disputing that it's a Power PC chip IBM is calling it that... but not all powerpc chips are used by apple... however, I think that the new chip will be ... but we don't KNOW that.
 

ddtlm

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Aug 20, 2001
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chubakka:

Of course we don't know it, nor have I claimed that we do. However I think that there is enough evidence to conclude that Apple will most likely be using a Power4-lite some day.
 

chubakka

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Feb 27, 2002
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I know!

I agree... sheeesh... I said that in both post... it's etremely likely to be used by apple.

But we don't know jack about the motorola chip other than that thier part of a consortium that's going to design and manufacture it.
 

ddtlm

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Aug 20, 2001
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Oh I see now... BTW, Moto has not announced any chips here, just a process tech. And actually they didn't even do that, they just said they were gona work with some other companies on it.

A few posts back when you said "these chips" I thought you were referring to the Power4-lite as I was, since there is no Moto chip to speak of. Of course what you were saying is very confusing when looked at from my point of view, but I think it's all cleared up now.

Glad to see we agree happily ever after.