PowerPC History and Future Name Change?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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IBM updated an article entitled "POWER to the people" which runs down the history of the Power Architecture which developed into the PowerPC processor used in Apple's Macintoshes.

The PowerPC came from the Apple, IBM, Motorola alliance and introduced in 1993, the PowerPC saw its first commercial use in the Power Macintosh 6100.

Since 1993, the PowerPC ecosystem has of course evolved; Apple is no longer actively involved in PowerPC, and Motorola's PowerPC (and other microprocessor) development work has been spun off into the independent semiconductor company known as Freescale.
In summer of 2005, Apple announced it would be abandoning the PowerPC processors in favor of Intel processors. The transition is expected to begin as early as January of 2006.

Freescale and IBM are moving on with their PowerPC processors which may even see a name change sometime in 2006, according to this article:

Top-of-the-line custom processors, such as the next-gen Microsoft® Xbox 360® processor, are based on the PowerPC architecture, and IBM remains firmly committed to the PowerPC family as an important component of its microprocessor lineup (note that Freescale hints the PowerPC might undergo a name change in 2006!).
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
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I'd like to see the name change to Cell Broadband Engine.

Aren't they moving towards the Cell architecture, anyways?
 

ZorPrime

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2005
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Los Angeles
Lacero said:
I'd like to see a name change.

Aren't they moving towards the Cell architecture, anyways?
It's sad to see the PPC nameplate end but time moves on. Cell is going to be interesting since, Apple hasn't had much, if anything, to do with its development, Sony, Toshiba, and IBM will be holding the patents.

As for the Xbox, who would have though Big Bill would be paying Jobs royalties for a computing technology. :cool:
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
404
Lacero said:
I'd like to see the name change to Cell Broadband Engine.

Aren't they moving towards the Cell architecture, anyways?
No, they're not. The Cell is:
1) Extremely specific in the type of tasks it is good at. It sucks for normal computing, terribly, especially running an operating system.
2) Made by IBM only. There's no way Freescale would call it the Cell Broadband Engine.
 

steve_hill4

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2005
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NG9, England
Well, let's hope development continues as well without Apple on baord as it did with Apple. Who's to say that in another 5-10 years Apple will switch back, let's make sure there is something worth switching back to.

As for the name, I think it would be nice called something which still contains the word Power, but moves away from PPC, to a more general name. I don't think the word Cell should appear in it though, as already stated, that is an IBM thing, not Freescale.
 

Photorun

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2003
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NYC
I've got some suggestions:

SD Processor (SD = "slow development")
Nevermake3 (GHz)
The G6!
Not-Intels
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
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1123.6536.5321
Just as with Apple's decision to move to Intel, time goes on and things change.... I wonder what they'll rename the line if this does indeed happen...
 

inkswamp

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2003
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671
Am I wrong in thinking that Apple still owns a stake in the PPC? Don't they own the technology jointly with IBM and Motorola? I wonder how that plays out in the future of the chip.
 

d.perel

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2005
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how significant..... I'm just waiting for my $400 Intel-based mac mini with DVR and cable tuner built in...
 

EGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 4, 2003
1,606
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We need a neutral vote for the front page news.

I don't see how this is significant. *yawn*
 

EGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 4, 2003
1,606
1
generik said:
They probably will change to "Intel"

You see... the last WWDC was a hoax! :D
Imagine if that was the keynote. How funny would that be!?

:D
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
EGT said:
I don't see how this is significant. *yawn*
Sure it's significant. It's all marketing. See, when Apple introduced the G4 with Velocity Engine™, I went gaga and purchased my first Mac, because I wanted a supercomputer on me desktops.

Me gots a supercomputer!! YAY! :D

Cell Broadband Engine sounds rather dumb. I'd prefer something like maybe Synergon Cells™? Sounds dumb initially too, but hey, most folks didn't like when AMD called their new K's Athlons.


Here's to the Crazy Ones
 

Fiveos22

macrumors 65816
Nov 20, 2003
1,080
1
EGT said:
We need a neutral vote for the front page news.

I don't see how this is significant. *yawn*
Its a slow Sunday...this is a good read...time to go out an ski now that finals are done!
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,589
31
San Francisco, CA
Lacero said:
Sure it's significant. It's all marketing. See, when Apple introduced the G4 with Velocity Engine™, I went gaga and purchased my first Mac, because I wanted a supercomputer on me desktops.

Me gots a supercomputer!! YAY! :D

Cell Broadband Engine sounds rather dumb. I'd prefer something like maybe Synergon Cells™? Sounds dumb initially too, but hey, most folks didn't like when AMD called their new K's Athlons.


Here's to the Crazy Ones
If the G4 is a supercomputer, what does that make my G5? :eek: :confused: :cool:
 

ZorPrime

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2005
246
0
Los Angeles
inkswamp said:
Am I wrong in thinking that Apple still owns a stake in the PPC? Don't they own the technology jointly with IBM and Motorola? I wonder how that plays out in the future of the chip.
I think you addressed a really important point. :cool: Apple doesn't own any patent rights to the Power, PowerPC, or other hardware architecture or technological derivative implementation. What it does have co-ownership of is the floating point and integer SIMD instruction set technology, aka AltiVec(tm moto), VMX(tm IBM), and Velocity Engine(tm Apple). Anything that uses AltiVec is subject to licensing and the associated royalties... meaning, as long as RISC chips use AltiVec, Apple get a few $$. :cool:
 

ZorPrime

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2005
246
0
Los Angeles
EricNau said:
I wonder if IBM is getting just a little worried, now that they don't have Apple.
I don't think IBM's worried, since they've been divorcing themselves from the consumer computer market for a while. Apple needed IBM more than IBM needed Apple. Also, Sony has deeper R&D pockets than Apple and Toshiba's all about semi-conductors. They're not going to have the supply-chain issues like with AIM. It's a win win for IBM. :cool:

just my 2¢