updated 04:30 pm EDT, Thu July 7, 2005
Dual-core G5 chips
IBM today introduced a dual-core version of its PowerPC 70 (a.k.a, "G5") processor, which could find its way into Macs in the coming months. In a presentation at the Power Everywhere Forum 2005 in Japan, the company also annnounced new low-power versions of the PowerPC 970FX, which are currently used in Apple's Power Mac G5 desktops and iMac G5 systems. According to IBM, the dual-core G5 chips will be made available in speeds ranging from 1.4GHz to 2.5GHz, which could find their way into forthcoming models of its Xserve server and/or Power Mac G5 desktops.
The 64-bit dual-core PowerPC "G5" 970MP chips, code-named Antares, contain two processing units per chip, each with their own execution core and 64K of Level 1 cache. The chips also offer 1MB Level 2 cache for each unit, making the chips more than twice as efficient as IBM's current 970FX PowerPC G5 processors, according to the company. The new dual-core chips also feature power consumption features to dyanmically regulate frequency and voltage as well as the ability to completely turn off one core for added power savings.
The 970MP chip offers SMP functions, enabling it to seamlessly integrate with other dual-core processors to improve performance without increasing processor speeds. In addition, IBM says it has integrated a power saving function to manage the electric power of the system dynamically.
The new family of low-power PowerPC 970FX chips will be available in speeds up to 1.6GHz. They will feature a 512K Level 2 cache. PowerPC 970FX chips are currently used in Apple Power Mac G5 and iMac G5 systems.
IBM also touted its "Power" architecture, noting that IBM processors are used in six of the top 10 supercomputers in the world an that 51 percent of the systems in the top 500 list are using IBM chips, which translates to 57 percent of the global supercomputer processing power.
IBM made the official announcement in Japanese and had yet to update its US website with information on the new chips.