IBM Releases New PowerPC Chips!


Senior Member & Tech Guru
eWeek reports that IBM next week will announce a new PowerPC chips ranging from 700MHz to 1GHz. Code-named 'Sa-hara,' it may also include enhancements to match the "current performance advantages of the PowerPC G4's AltiVec acceleration and is expected to be the successor to the G3 line:

"The Sahara chip will feature an 'AltiVec-like acceleration' and not require the AltiVec co-processor in order to provide a speed boost to applications. Details were not yet available as to whether this is due to new hardware or code mapping, but sources said Sahara's technology is entirely distinct from AltiVec. Sahara will be constructed using a combination of copper and silicon-on-insulator technolo-gies....

Sources also said a revised version of Sahara, called Sahara 2, will be released sometime in 2002. Although details are scarce, Sahara 2 will be moved from Sahara's CMOS 8 (0.18 micron) to CMOS 9 (0.13-micron) fabricating technology."
The problem has never been IBM's product line (they make a good quality processor), it has been getting Apple to use them. IBM has had 700 MHz G3 processors for quite some time now, only Apple wouldn't use them (at faster than 500 MHz) because Motorola was having problem getting their G4 design faster than 500 MHz. When the G4s were released, and their was a shortage of G4 processors, Apple (and Motorola) ask IBM to make some to help meet the demand. Many of the IBM made processors were able to run at 600+ MHz when Motorola couldn't make more than a hand full of 500 MHz versions (forcing Apple to move all the models down 50 MHz at the release date).

I point this out because knowing that IBM has these fast processors doesn't mean we are going to get to see them anytime soon. The last thing Apple wants is someone walking past the G4 at 867 MHz over to the iMac at 1 GHz for about half the price. The MHz Myth is just as alive at Apple as it is everywhere else in the world.