Originally posted by Matsu
There's a possibility that there may not even be enough PPC970 to plug all the PM slots. This is still a heretofore untested product going into it's FIRST application, and FIRST volume production run.
IBM claims that Fishkill is running at 1/3rd capacity, and ramping up quickly.
Fishkill is a big fab, so my guess is that they're already making enough for PowerMacs. The trick is to make enough for Apple and IBM
, since there are certain factions within IBM who want to use the 970 to blow the Itanium off the market.
Remember what happened with speed dropped G4's? It may pass that even the low-end tower remains a dual G4 (and probably dual boot) affair for a few months even when the first 64 bit pMacs arrive. Yes yes, it's IBM, not moto, that means nothing, mac heads are building IBM into something they're not, a proven alternative, a guarantee.
And you're turning them into something they aren't, which is a fab as plagued with production issues as Motorola SPS is. Nobody
else in that industry is having as much trouble as Mot SPS.
Even with the G4, when Motorola was unable to supply the 7400 in sufficient quantities for Apple, IBM stepped in and picked up the slack (and, reportedly, soaked Motorola for the privilege). They don't get to charge the highest fees of any contract fab in the world by being half-assed and unreliable. Sure, IBM Semiconductor is staffed by humans, and saddled with IBM's infamous bureaucracy, but their only misfire to date (missing out on SIMD) was a strategic error, not a fabrication problem.
Moto is a hude chip maker, and they had problems, IBM also has a lot on their plate besides PPC's. Don't expect an immediate bounty of chips.
If the reports from IBM to the media are any indication, Fishkill is currently exceeding IBM's expectations. IBM's expectations were high, because Fishkill burned a rather large hole in their budget in order to serve a depressed market, so a lot is hinging on its ability to pay for itself. Sofar, again if the scant accounts published sofar are to be believed, it's not disappointing.
It actually sorta makes sense. Apple dumped the dp867 for an sp 1ghz machine. If the LOW END pMac were bumped back to a faster DP machine, say dp1.25 for 1500, it wouldn't be too bad, not great, but not horrible either, especially for the multitude of pro customers who still NEED OS9. The top two configs move up to fast 970's, duals on top.
Apple's probably hoping that after this summer there will be no - or precious few - customers who need OS 9. If the next version of FCP doesn't crash constantly under X, the only real holdouts among Apple's professional customers will be Quark users.