IBM today took the wraps off its long-expected PowerPC 970 chip, according to a
Reuters report. Some industry analysts anticipate that this chip could possibly be used in a new Macintosh design, helping to give the Mac an edge over Intel-based PCs operating at much faster clock speeds.
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The PowerPC 970 is billed by IBM as a “lite” version of its own Power4 CPU, a design created for high-end server applications. The new chip design features one processor core instead of the two found in the Power4, and runs at a clock speed of 1.8GHz. Today’s high end Power Mac G4s use CPUs operating at 1.25GHz.
Although the chip uses a 64-bit architecture, it’s capable of running software designed for today’s 32-bit processors, as well, according to the Reuters report.
Apple declined to comment for the Reuters story, and IBM would not specify what PC manufacturers plan to use the chip in their systems. IBM indicated that the PowerPC 970 processor would go into production in the second half of 2003, fabricated at the company’s East Fishkill, NY facility.