IBM and Hitachi will team up for new PowerPC processors, according to a Semiconductor Business News report. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that, at least initially, the Mac platform will benefit from the partnership.
According to the report, the two companies will co-develop and manufacture a range of components and semiconductors used to make servers. The development will include future versions of IBM’s PowerPC processors.
“This relationship will help IBM speed the growth of the IBM eServer line, enabling us to deliver next-generation infrastructure for the accelerating demands of e-business,” William Zeitler, senior vice president and group executive of the IBM Server Group, told Semiconductor Business News.
The development and manufacturing agreement covers multi-chip ceramic modules (MCM) and memory cache components for use in IBM and Hitachi servers, according to the article. The companies said they would also cooperatively develop selected chips that support Hitachi’s VOS operating system.
The new partnership will tap advanced technology that both companies have developed for years, Toshihiko Odaka, senior vice president and senior group executive of Hitachi’s Information & Telecommunication Systems Group in Japan, told Semiconductor Business News.
“IBM and Hitachi said they are considering additional opportunities for future PowerPC-based AIX 5L servers, which would expand the portfolios of both companies in a range of mission-critical and high-performance computing applications,” the story said. “Hitachi will add PowerPC-based servers and adopt the AIX 5L as one of its strategic platforms for its customers under the alliance. These servers will be sold under the Hitachi brand.”
Of more relevance to Mac users is IBM’s update to the PowerPC 750CXe, which now supports the 133MHz system bus. The 750CXe is currently used in the high-end 500 and 600MHz iMac models. The new PowerPC microprocessor will be available in speeds of 400, 500 and 600MHz, with production ramping next month, IBM said.
A 700MHz model is targeted to be available as a sample in May. Based on quantities of 10,000 pieces, pricing for companies interested in using it would be US$57 for the 400 MHz model, $93.75 for 500 MHz and $143.75 for 600 MHz. See our Feb. 26 story for details.