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IBM debuts dual-core 2.5GHz G5 chip

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.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. DeepDish

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    yawn

    yawn. IBM who?

  1. porieux

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    huh?

    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.

    I don't know of any Power Mac G5s currently for sale with clock speeds that low.

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    ready... set...

    let the second-guessing begin (anew)!!!

  1. MacnnGregor

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Have a little respect....

    The IBM that will be in every Mac desktop for the next year. Tehy are too little too late but it is predictable that they would be announcing their dual core and "low power" chips now.

    I hope Jobs made the right decision!!!!

    I for one wanted to have the same processor in my consumer desktop be the EXACT same one in a top ten supercomputer!

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    good

    its still good news...more choices.

    ibm's power everwhere, so far has mean in IBM branded machines, and apple's...

    there is one small company selling powerpc linux motherboards, but they only use g4's from freescale.

    mebbe this will be the first g5 chip that is actually on the market...i.e. you will see them in mac accelerator cards and in generic linux targetted powerpc motherboards.

    so far, never seen a g5 sold in that fashion.

  1. Person Man

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Um... proofread??

    [I]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.[/I]

    According to IBM... could find their way into ... its Xserve server and/or Power Mac G5 desktops.

    Um, APPLE makes the Xserve and Power Mac, not IBM...

  1. nativeNYer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    So.....

    ....then, the next G5 revs will feature a dual core dual 2.5 Ghz chip, DOWN from the current dual 2.7s?? The dual core may be faster and whatever, but I somehow doubt Apple will make the Mhz speed on the next version of the G5 go down. That would just look bad.

  1. Armas

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    That's IBM showing...?

    Current PM G5's are already shipping at 2.7 Ghz Dual - but as always, with Power PC, Motorola, Freescale! (whoops!), or IBM, Lack of attention has forced Apple to engineer Systems FAR beyond rated spec's of the CPU's by IBM, MOT, Freescale, (whatever!) So, that is why 9 fans + Water cooling has been the ONLY innovation in Power ( Besides marketing c*** to console makers! )

    Sure would be nice if IBM made a chip we could put in a laptop, with a bus speed over 167Mhz ( Or Freescale! ) I think Intel has already promised "X Scale" Arm RISC core (Intel branded) at 2.5 Ghz !!! Those are for iPod, they plan on Making ACTUAL chips for portables too!

    Weird, New P M uses a 14 stage pipeline ( G5 has 15-17 ) G4 would still rule but starving at 1.67Ghz -to- 167MHz system bus ( 10 clock cycle wait on RAM?) Even 533MHz system bus would really help performance...

    Thanks IBM...

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sounds Good BUT...

    Can they deliver on time and in quantity?

    Let's hope so. Maybe IBM will make Apple think twice about downgrading to Intel across the board.

  1. Zorak

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Dual Dual

    As far as dropping the speed from 2.7 MHz to 2.5, yea they won't really do that. However, using two 2.5 MHz dual core chips would be possible. That would give a PM or Xserver 4 cores. This has already been hinted at in developer monitoring & performance tools (CHUD and MONster). There should be efficiencies in the ‘dual cores per chip’ verses ‘two separate chips’ architecture when it comes to caches and busses. Thus, it may turn out that a single dual core will out perform a two-chip single core machine at the same speed.

    The thing that pushes against this is cost. These dual core chips are generally quite expensive when compared to single core chips. Factor in that the PPC Macs are being phased out over the next year and you have difficult situation: How do you sell expensive machines that are the end of a product

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