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POWER4 influences on G5?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
In an Ars forum in the not-too-distant past, I was intrigued by the following remarks from MrNSX:


[quote]While the actual Power4 chip won't appear on any desktops, not even a SC version, a lot of the technology is being filtered down to the next consumer level variant. In other words, it will have a huge impact on upcoming PPC designs. I'm afraid I can't really elaborate. Although this can be considered a little more longterm, there are other short-term goodies coming down the pipe. <hr></blockquote>

(<a href="http://arstechnica.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?a=tpc&s=50009562&f=8300945231&m=6650972682&r= 2270979682#2270979682" target="_blank">Ars POWER4 thread</a>)


Should we presume that he's talking about the G5 here? If so, then this in turn would suggest that it's not coming out as soon as we hope. Or perhaps he's talking about a 64-bit variant of the G5.

Comments?
post #2 of 13
I think he is more likely talking of the next IBM processor for desktops. I heard rumors that IBM is going to come out with a line of inexpensive workstations aimed at the 3D market using PowerPC. At first it was thought they would use the G4 but with the advent of the 750fx and its 512K L2 and 200MHz bus, they may have other things in mind. But also consider, Apple has played a huge role in the G5 development process, but Apple is not exactly full of experience in that department. Perhaps IBM engineers with some Motorola engineers working at Apple campus are guiding them in their efforts and some POWER4 ideas are making it into the G5 and beyond.
post #3 of 13
well, supercomputer chips have always been an indicator of where consumer chips will go in the near future... so I wouldn't be surprised, especially when the power4 and ppc are so closely related.
post #4 of 13
MrNSX is cool :-)

[ 11-13-2001: Message edited by: macway ]</p>
post #5 of 13
He could also be talking about multiple-core technology, which was rumored for the G4 way back when, but which has finally been deployed and proven in the POWER4 (at least, within the POWER family - I'm not sure if it's the first multicore processor family).
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post #6 of 13
I wonder if G5 will have identical execution units as the POWER4.
post #7 of 13
unlikely, the Power4 has a die size about the size of a bathroom tile and costs about as much as a mid ranged iMac.

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post #8 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by G-News:
<strong>unlikely, the Power4 has a die size about the size of a bathroom tile and costs about as much as a mid ranged iMac.

G-News</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, but that's probably due to the multicore nature of it and the highspeed busses along with monster caches it employs.
post #9 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by macway:
<strong>MrNSX is cool :-)

[ 11-13-2001: Message edited by: macway ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yeah, but since he's supposedly "only" working for ATI, I kinda wonder where he'd get inside information on upcoming IBM processors from?

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post #10 of 13
[quote]unlikely, the Power4 has a die size about the size of a bathroom tile<hr></blockquote>

That's a bit of an exaggeration.
[quote]400 mm2 die<hr></blockquote>

<a href="http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?section=columns&AID=RWT101600000000&date= 10-16-2000" target="_blank">From here.</a> 400 sq.mm. at .18um, which never shipped, is significantly less at .13um, which is shipping.

[quote]and costs about as much as a mid ranged iMac.<hr></blockquote>

That's a bit of an understatement. If I remember right from its launch, POWER4's are not currently being used in systems costing less than about half a million bucks. And it won't be going below the mid-range UNIX workstation in any recognizable form; and by mid-range I mean $40,000+.

POWER4 in a Mac, in any recognizable form, is not going to happen.
post #11 of 13
Who would have thought guys from Switzerland are capable of ironic exageration?

I meant he cost of the chip, not of the systems. Aparently one chip costs around 2000-2500$.

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post #12 of 13
[quote]I meant he cost of the chip, not of the systems. Aparently one chip costs around 2000-2500$.<hr></blockquote>

This isn't surprising. It's an extremely complex piece of machinery. And a 5200+ pincount is no small amount.

By contrast, the northbridge for the AMD 760MPX chipset is somewhere between 900 and 1100 pins.
post #13 of 13
[quote]I wonder if G5 will have identical execution units as the POWER4.<hr></blockquote>

An interesting idea: that the G5 is similar to a POWER4 but with only one core per CPU, fewer execution units and cache. Anyone know how closely related G3/G4 and POWER3 are?
Anyone know if G5 can have multiple cores per chip?
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