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CONFIRMED IBM Power PC 970 - Page 6

post #201 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>So we're looking at by MWSF 2004 for sure, MWNY 2003 at the earliest.

Shouldn't the talk be over by now? Let's get that info rollin' in!
</strong><hr></blockquote>

IBM announced the 750fx on 10/17/02 at MPF and said it would sample in 01/02. It showed up in ibooks on 5/20/02.

If the comparison is appropriate...

...and the 970 samples 4/01/03 then we should expect an announcement in July and actual products on or before 8/1/03.

10 months away.
post #202 of 490
Programmer, two questions about SIMD in PPC970:

1) Are you certain that there are two independent SIMD units? with independent registers? the ExtremeTech article says one...

2) are the SIMD units 64 bit too? and do you think they will be able to "split up" into, say, 2*32-bit operations?

Thanx,
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post #203 of 490
Just because it supports up to 6.4GBps bandwidth doesn't mean the memory must max the bus. Apple should use the least expensive/best performing ratio memory available at the time. If this spring, that's probably PC2700 (what the Macs use now throttled) and that provides 2.7GBps. If a bus can fully deliver that, it would be an accomplishment in and of itself. If a new PowerMac with GPUL is introduced in the summer/fall then you may be looking at a 400MHz flavor of DDR-II. Either way it will impress. Also I hear the actual theoretical bandwidth of the processor is 7.2GBps, but IBM quotes 6.4 after bus overhead is factored in. And as a note, RapidIO is notorious for large overhead.

And finally, and this is speculation, I think that IBM under estimated the speed of these chips. If the chip has a 16-18 stage pipeline on 130nm process it should do 2GHz out of the gate. Maybe it's hotspots in the silicon that make it clock at 1.8... Consider a G4 with a 7 stage pipeline and made on 180nm can manage 1.25GHz...
post #204 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>Just because it supports up to 6.4GBps bandwidth doesn't mean the memory must max the bus. Apple should use the least expensive/best performing ratio memory available at the time. If this spring, that's probably PC2700 (what the Macs use now throttled) and that provides 2.7GBps. If a bus can fully deliver that, it would be an accomplishment in and of itself. If a new PowerMac with GPUL is introduced in the summer/fall then you may be looking at a 400MHz flavor of DDR-II. Either way it will impress. Also I hear the actual theoretical bandwidth of the processor is 7.2GBps, but IBM quotes 6.4 after bus overhead is factored in. And as a note, RapidIO is notorious for large overhead.

And finally, and this is speculation, I think that IBM under estimated the speed of these chips. If the chip has a 16-18 stage pipeline on 130nm process it should do 2GHz out of the gate. Maybe it's hotspots in the silicon that make it clock at 1.8... Consider a G4 with a 7 stage pipeline and made on 180nm can manage 1.25GHz...</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think I saw the pipeline for the CPU was 8 or 10 (saw that somewhere) but each unit such as fp int vmx etc each have thier own # pipelines stages.

Also for those still hung up on SPEC numbers

[code]
SPECint_base2000
=================
242 G4 800Mhz
259 G4 867Mhz
306 G4 1000Mhz
937 GPUL 1800Mhz
=================

SPECfp_base
=================
147 G4 800Mhz
153 G4 867Mhz
187 G4 1000Mhz
1051 GPUL 1800Mhz
=================
</pre><hr></blockquote>

Found the numbers for 800 867 and 1000 on c'st (I think that was the site) Oh and anyone have numbers for the 1250Ghz cpu's?

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post #205 of 490
forgive me if this has been touched on already, but let's assume that the article is correct and we don't see this processor for another year or so. what happens in the mean time? faster g4s in the form of the g4+? will it scale up enough, at least two more times? or perhaps moto still has the g5 ready to make an intro the first of next year to be relegated to a lower end solution once the 970 comes out?
post #206 of 490
it looks like the P4 will be pushing 4Ghz by the time the 970 rolls around. . . and 100 watts! of course the new computer will be a staple item in the cold new england states and further north.
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post #207 of 490
Moki, are you sure the future high-end is the 970 and not the G5?
post #208 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by running with scissors:
<strong>forgive me if this has been touched on already, but let's assume that the article is correct and we don't see this processor for another year or so. what happens in the mean time? faster g4s in the form of the g4+? will it scale up enough, at least two more times? or perhaps moto still has the g5 ready to make an intro the first of next year to be relegated to a lower end solution once the 970 comes out?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I'm wondering about this too. The PPC 970 sounds great, but 12-15 months is an awfully long time for Apple to keep tap dancing around system performance while saddled with the G4.

If Mot wasn't very motivated to improve the G4 for Apple to begin with, it would seem they'd now have even less motivation to provide Apple with something new over this next year. I suppose Apple might stick to Mot for iMacs and iBooks, and even TiBooks for awhile, with the 970s only going into top-of-the-line Power Macs and Xserves at first. But sooner or later it would seem Mot's on the way out.

Does anyone else see the 970 as indicitive of a bright future, but also see grim times until then?
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post #209 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by Programmer:
<strong>I don't know where he gets 7.2, but even at 6.4 that means it'll be doing considerably better than the PIV's FSB... and then consider that in most applications AltiVec is currently held back almost entirely by memory bandwidth. If Apple builds a top-of-the-line memory system to feed this beast I think we're going to see some very impressive media performance -- something that SPEC doesn't even attempt to benchmark.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I believe he extrapolated the 7.2 GBps theoretical maximum throughput from the 900 MHz clock of the FSB.

[quote]Originally posted by Programmer:
<strong>Linear scaling by clock rate isn't surprising. In fact, its a relief. I was concerned that we'd lose some of AltiVec's magic efficiency with the introduction of IBM's VMX equivalent. RC5 isn't very bandwidth intensive, I believe, so you're not seeing the benefits of the 6.4x improvement in bandwidth.</strong><hr></blockquote>

It's surprising because many people would assume that improvements would be made to VMX/AltiVec ... and those improvements would show up in a benchmark like the Distributed.net Client. However, when the MPC7450 first came out, it also showed linear scaling for RC5 performance vs the MPC7400...until a specific core for the MPC7450 was developed.

Linear scaling using the available MPC7450 RC5 core with an IBM PPC 970 isn't surprising to me in that case.

It's also worth noting that Distributed.net benchmarks are compiler specific, just like any other benchmark. For example, With GCC 2.95.2, the PPC-scalar OGR core benches around 14 mnodes/sec on my 2x1000 MHz G4. In contrast, the PPC-vector (AltiVec) core benches 21 mnodes/sec. Surprisingly, when I compiled the client and core with GCC 3.2 the scalar core trumped the vector core with a benchmark of 23 mnodes/sec.

[ 10-15-2002: Message edited by: Eugene ]</p>
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post #210 of 490
about this spec / bandwidth stuff...

[quote]
Originally posted by Programmer:
I don't know where he gets 7.2, but even at 6.4 that means it'll be doing considerably better than the PIV's FSB... and then consider that in most applications AltiVec is currently held back almost entirely by memory bandwidth. If Apple builds a top-of-the-line memory system to feed this beast I think we're going to see some very impressive media performance -- something that SPEC doesn't even attempt to benchmark.
<hr></blockquote>

Spec has often been said to be extremely bandwidth driven. Face it, the scores that the 970 is getting are there, in large part, because of the huge increase in bandwidth.

It's also why certain chips like large cache itaniums and power4s do so well in it. When you think about it, cache and bandwidth/latency are almost identical in effect when it comes to feeding data to the processor. hence the high bandwidth and high cache systems doing so well in spec.

neye
post #211 of 490
SPECfp is bandwidth-intensive, but SPECint is the opposite. Thus I'm curious why the 970 has worse SPECint/MHz than Power4.
post #212 of 490

SPECint_base2000
=================
242 G4 800Mhz
259 G4 867Mhz
306 G4 1000Mhz
937 GPUL 1800Mhz
=================

SPECfp_base
=================
147 G4 800Mhz
153 G4 867Mhz
187 G4 1000Mhz
1051 GPUL 1800Mhz
=================


like, WHOA. <img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" />
post #213 of 490
i can see it now. this time next year i will own a dual 2ghz G5 system with a 900mhz system bus and a new geforce 5 TI card.

oooh i cant wait. im so giddy. like a little kid in a candy store.

[ 10-16-2002: Message edited by: Aris ]</p>
post #214 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by Eugene:
<strong>
For example, With GCC 2.95.2, the PPC-scalar OGR core benches around 14 mnodes/sec on my 2x1000 MHz G4. In contrast, the PPC-vector (AltiVec) core benches 21 mnodes/sec. Surprisingly, when I compiled the client and core with GCC 3.2 the scalar core trumped the vector core with a benchmark of 23 mnodes/sec.

[ 10-15-2002: Message edited by: Eugene ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, gcc doesn't do a great job with Altivec or the PPC in general. 3.2 helps a lot.

Hopefully IBM's presence will motivate the gnu guys to update the gcc standard quickly on release on 970 (I imagine all they have to do is incorporate what Apple/IBM gives them, but this seems to have proven to be difficult for them in the past.)

To those who care, I'm working on planning to put together a highly optimized Altivec/VMX library for certain DSP tasks. Hand coding the Altivec, as I have been told (and seen), is still a way to get a great speed bonus. So there's still a long way for compilers to go, and an optimized compile can indeed make a huge difference.
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post #215 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by cinder:
<strong>
SPECint_base2000
=================
242 G4 800Mhz
259 G4 867Mhz
306 G4 1000Mhz
937 GPUL 1800Mhz
=================

SPECfp_base
=================
147 G4 800Mhz
153 G4 867Mhz
187 G4 1000Mhz
1051 GPUL 1800Mhz
=================


like, WHOA. <img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>
let's do a small simulation :

G4 1,8 ghz : spec int (estimated) 551 at equal mhz the ppc 970 is 70 % faster

G4 1,8 ghz : spec fp estimated : 337 at equal mhz the ppc 970 is 312 % faster

So we have a chip that scale lineary for Altivec, and you know that altivec is the best SIMD unit in the world, that give you 70 % more power per mhz in integer, and more than three times for FP operations, add a better support of SMP and a very efficient FSB 900 mhz max compared to 166 mhz for the G4.

There is no reason to whin, Apple will be ALIVE. I don't know if we will see dual configurations, but if they exist they will smoke any MP in Intel world. (mac os X is better for MP than windows).

My personal feeling are :
post #216 of 490
I am very curious about the price of the tower
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post #217 of 490
splinemodel, yeah, typically I wouldn't be surprised by compiler optimization improvements, but a 64% jump from GCC 2.95.2 to 3.2 (and 3.1 too) is just insane. It makes me wonder how much more optimized AltiVec could be under GCC if they put an effort into it. OGR should benefit from AltiVec yet the scalar core beats the vector core at this point.

Sixty-four percent! Hell, even a 10% performance jump is remarkable.
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post #218 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by A Random Walk:
<strong>Moki, are you sure the future high-end is the 970 and not the G5?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Assuming you are talking about a "G5" from MOT -- don't hold your breath. I'm told Steve Jobs, after a particularly unproductive meeting with MOT representatives, told them to "Get the **** out of my office"

Apparently his Steveness wasn't pleased with their progress in terms of silicon and speed.
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post #219 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by moki:
<strong>Apparently his Steveness wasn't pleased with their progress in terms of silicon and speed. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Yeah well, neither am I.

Bring on the Power Mac 64!

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post #220 of 490
so we all know that SPEC marks aren't an indicator for real world - speeds... so what about dhrystone and whetstone - i think those will give enough info about the real speed of the 970

and please - steevy-baby .. give us our 970 in april :-) ... that'll fit perfectly into my plan to buy a new mac then.
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post #221 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by Programmer:
<strong>I don't know where he gets 7.2, but even at 6.4 that means it'll be doing considerably better than the PIV's FSB... and then consider that in most applications AltiVec is currently held back almost entirely by memory bandwidth. If Apple builds a top-of-the-line memory system to feed this beast I think we're going to see some very impressive media performance -- something that SPEC doesn't even attempt to benchmark.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Gets it from here:

[quote]The front-side bus electrically runs at 450-MHz, double-clocked to an effective rate of 900-MHz, generating a peak bandwidth of 7.2 Gbytes or 6.4 Gbytes/s of useable bandwidth after transaction overhead is taken into account, Sandon said.<hr></blockquote>

Aparts from that being remarkably efficient I believe it likely scales with the clock speed of the computer itself. So at 1.6 GHZ it will only be 800 MHz effective and at 2GHz it will be 1GHz effective. I haven't seen a technical paper yet though.

[ 10-16-2002: Message edited by: Telomar ]</p>
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post #222 of 490
Someone said that this processor also was going into Sony Playstation 3. If this is the case the future of macgames might be real bright... I dont know but to me it would seem the step might not be so long. Another advantage of this might be that IBM would make larger quantitys of these chips bringing the price down. Or am I wrong
post #223 of 490
Thread Starter 
I presume that the Mac is going to be the best game platform in the world soon.

Will a PowerMac with this chip beat the socks off any SGI machines? Are we likely to see a wholesale switch to the Mac for video production?
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post #224 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by moki:


Assuming you are talking about a "G5" from MOT -- don't hold your breath. I'm told Steve Jobs, after a particularly unproductive meeting with MOT representatives, told them to "Get the **** out of my office"

Apparently his Steveness wasn't pleased with their progress in terms of silicon and speed.
<hr></blockquote>

Gosh-- would Steve actually say that? He seems like such a nice, sweet boy.

In my office, managers want to say that all the time to Motorola, but we can't...
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post #225 of 490
I'm liking the options.
  • Faster than the G4
  • Doesn't get clobbered at projected SPEC (yes, I do use some of the SPEC components regularly)
  • May well show up as duals
  • This is on a 0.13um process: what would a 0.09u process do for the PowerPC 970?
  • VMX supported by bandwidth

But what happens in the meantime? I'd expect the G4 to go to ~1.6GHz, maybe 200MHz MPX FSB or RapidIO.

What about the PowerPC 975? 980? (resists starting new thread with no data)
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post #226 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by moki:
<strong>

Assuming you are talking about a "G5" from MOT -- don't hold your breath. I'm told Steve Jobs, after a particularly unproductive meeting with MOT representatives, told them to "Get the **** out of my office"
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Given that is correct, there is going to be a huge lacuna in not just the sale of PowerMacs but also in Apple's profits. Not to mention Motorola's lack of motivation re. research, as noted above. At most, they will have one more G4 upgrade in the pipeline - probably not with the front bus update expected by many here.

I foresee lowered profit expectations from Apple later today - and a corresponding fall in the price of their shares. Only comfort: they can't fall much lower, given their cash accumulation :-/
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post #227 of 490
[quote] Assuming you are talking about a "G5" from MOT -- don't hold your breath. I'm told Steve Jobs, after a particularly unproductive meeting with MOT representatives, told them to "Get the **** out of my office" <hr></blockquote>

Good for him--and frankly, good for US. After years of broken promises, I can't trust these fvckers at all...that's why I'm assuming we see nothing from them except incremental speed bumps until the PPC970, and Apple moves g4 straight to 970, starting with the PowerMac, then the PowerBook (due to the great low-power version!) while the consumer offerings stay g4 and the iBook gets its promotion finally to g4.

I really doubt that there will be a new g4, or a g5, that is terribly radical in design--why would Mot suddenly be trying? Or succeeding? they cancelled the 86xx--it seems illogical to me that they are going to pull some kind of "g5" out of their asses.

Oh, and here's a nice summary of yesterdays' talk, if'n you haven't seen it:

<a href="http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?AID=RWT101502203725" target="_blank">PPC970 presentation at the Microprocessor Forum...a summary.</a>
post #228 of 490
I just read the Real World Technologies article. The part about the system interconnect is very interesting.


One of the more interesting aspects of the PowerPC 970 processor is the system interconnect. Unlike the bi-directional processor busses seen on Intel IA-32 and IA-64 processor, or even the bi-directional point to point interconnects used on Alpha EV6 and AMD Athlon processors, the system interconnect of the PowerPC 970 processor are uni-directional, point to point, source synchronous interconnects that do not have to worry about bus loading factors or bus turn around times, and the interconnect can wave-pipeline multiple number of bits of data on the wires concurrently. The most difficult part of such high frequency system interconnect may be the deskewing circuitry that would be required. In this case, the PowerPC 970 appears to have benefitted well from the POWER4 lineage, where the deskewing circuitry for a wavepipelined interconnect was previously disclosed by IBM.

The system interconnect on the PowerPC 970 has been designed to operate at an integer fraction of the CPU core frequency. At a CPU core frequency of 1.8 GHz, the system interconnect will operate at a frequency of 900 MHz. With two unidirectional 32 bit wide interconnects, one from the CPU to the companion system controller chip, the other from the companion system controller chip back to the CPU, the system interconnects can provide 3.6 GB/s of raw system bandwidth on each direction for an aggregate bandwidth of 7.2 GB/s. However, the unidirectional links must multiplex address and control information onto the same interconnects, and when these overheads are taken into considerations, IBM claims an effective peak data bandwidth of 6.4 GB per second.

----------------

I'm not so sure Motorola will continue to develop the G4. The G4+ is their high-performance core, and the SNDF paper had roadmaps of the G4+ being the high-end core indefinitly.

It comes down to this: will Motorola continue to be the performance leader in embedded chips, or will they cease development and eventually production of all non-communications CPUs?

If the former, then a G4 with Rapid-I/O is on the horizon.

A 90nm PowerPC 970 would appear to be cool and cheap enough to work where Apple currently uses G4s.

A few years from now, when circitry is thinner again and the 970 is the equivelant of the 7410 in 2001, would imagine it could be used in iBooks.

----------------

I noticed another thing in the Real World Technologies article.

"Moreover, the nature of the point to point interconnect means that to support a dual CPU system, the companion chip must be designed with the dual CPU SMP in mind, with dedicated channels devoted to each CPU. Furthermore, to support the high bandwidth available on the system interconnect, a dual channel PC2700 DDR SDRAM memory system would appear to be a minimum requirement to support a single CPU."

Does this mean that the interconnect is not shared? How exactly does a "uni-directional" bus work?

And I see no reason why Apple has to use RAM which fills the interconnect if it costs too much. There used to be plenty of PC133 Athlon motherboards.

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post #229 of 490
Hmm interesting revelations...

The front-side bus electrically runs at 450-MHz, double-clocked to an effective rate of 900-MHz, generating a peak bandwidth of 7.2 Gbytes or 6.4 Gbytes/s of useable bandwidth after transaction overhead is taken into account, Sandon said.


Add to that 2 32bit busses running in tandem. Is it me of does this sound neither like RIO or HyperTransport? In fact this looks like it is really 2 GX busses like the ones found on the POWER4. Also did anyone note the pin count? Over 550. If it is true that there is no external cache controller then all those pins do indeed look like they will need all these pins. The Power 4 runs the GX bus at 366-433MHz now so 450MHz X 2 does not sound unreasonable. looks like the big difference is that this one runs double pumped. Impressive.
post #230 of 490
For myself, who deosn't know anything about how this stuff works, I find SpecInt/FP a little suspicious.

Look at the G4 getting smoked by the fastest x86 on these tests, but then we switch to real life and (execpting browsers) the G4 isn't anywhere near 5-10X slower than x86. Timed tests, show the top X86 about 60% faster, give or take. Can that spec mark be accurate? If it was Apple should have been destroyed in any test, but it isn't, even with the lowly G4, it even manages to win a test here and there. So what's going on?

Now there's a chip that (at the very least) doesn't give anything away to X86, but (being on the mac) it's going to get the same OS integration and efficiency, plus altivec, plus multi-CPU prowess.

It looks like good things ahead.

How much is this thing going to cost? Hammer and Itanium will cost alot, do you think IBM will undercut them significantly. That seems implied in the whole GPuL (ultra-Light) designation. Current PPC's are quite affordable, will 970 follow in that mould?
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post #231 of 490
You're right, we should not worry too much about what SPEC shows. If IBM had time to modify the code like Intel and AMD do, their processors would do much better on the test. but they feel that their processors will win over manufacturers with the IBM good name and true real life performance.
post #232 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by moki:
<strong>

Assuming you are talking about a "G5" from MOT -- don't hold your breath. I'm told Steve Jobs, after a particularly unproductive meeting with MOT representatives, told them to "Get the **** out of my office"

Apparently his Steveness wasn't pleased with their progress in terms of silicon and speed. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Don't put too much into this, moki. I hear this is one of Steve's standard farewells. In fact Apple employees cherish this particular adieu. It's how they know he's in a good mood.
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post #233 of 490
Anybody wonder what's going to happen when next summer comes? I, for one, can't picture Apple selling many G4 powermacs at this time when the 970 is just months away from being available.
I find it hard to believe that somebody at Apple hasn't thought about this either.
post #234 of 490
Regarding the single core configuration, is it possible that IBM could make a dual core 970 for Apple in the future?
This may be an option that Apple could use someday if they need a performance boost to keep up with x86.
post #235 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by Matsu:
<strong>For myself, who deosn't know anything about how this stuff works, I find SpecInt/FP a little suspicious.

Look at the G4 getting smoked by the fastest x86 on these tests, but then we switch to real life and (execpting browsers) the G4 isn't anywhere near 5-10X slower than x86. Timed tests, show the top X86 about 60% faster, give or take. Can that spec mark be accurate? If it was Apple should have been destroyed in any test, but it isn't, even with the lowly G4, it even manages to win a test here and there. So what's going on?
</strong><hr></blockquote>

You beat me to it. Your observation is exactly correct -- I heavily use both a dual 1 GHz DDR PowerMac and a 1.5 GHz Athlon, and for pretty much everything the PowerMac stomps all over the Athlon, especially in terms of how fast it feels. The SPECmark tests are written in C, and it is easy to write C programs which are biased against PPC to the benefit of x86 by exploiting the load/store nature of the PPC vs. the memory intensive nature of the x86. I have personally written a couple of cases where writing a piece of code one way double the speed of one processor family and halved the other, and then re-writing it halved the first and doubled the second. You might say that this is a problem in the compiler but really its a problem in the language because behaving differently would have been a compiler bug. Add to this that Intel typically uses their own compiler (which is quite good now) and adds their own special markups to the code so that it can make what are normally invalid assumptions. Further, their vector unit supports doing double precision floating point and their compiler supports this now... it was something they had to add because their original FPU design sucks so badly. And lastly, as mentioned above, the SPECmarks use a lot of memory and aren't written very intelligently to try and to a lot of work per memory fetch.

The comparable performance of the POWER4 and GPUL on SPECmarks isn't a result of IBM pulling some tricks, its a result of the improvements in memory bandwidth and superscalar dispatch. My expectation is that the GPUL will scale better than linearly with clockrate over the G4, and as a result in any real test (i.e. not SPEC) it will be a real barn burner.

So forget SPEC -- sure the GPUL is in the right ballpark now, but this isn't showing its real power.

<strong> [quote]
How much is this thing going to cost? Hammer and Itanium will cost alot, do you think IBM will undercut them significantly. That seems implied in the whole GPuL (ultra-Light) designation. Current PPC's are quite affordable, will 970 follow in that mould?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Given that its complexity is less than the PentiumIV and on the same process I would be comparing its cost to Athlon and PentiumIV, not Hammer and Itanium. As I said above, IBM is giving us a 64-bit powerhouse in a stunningly small package. The question shouldn't be will it be cheaper than the competition, but instead, how much cheaper?
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Providing grist for the rumour mill since 2001.
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post #236 of 490
To answer a question about the 2 vector units: no, it is one "logical" vector unit split into two execution units. This is similar to the original G4 7400 where there was a vector compute unit and a vector permute unit. The first does all the math, the second does all the moving & shuffling of vector components.

The Real World Technologies article is quite good. In particular:

- Instruction cracking is only used for the few complex PowerPC instructions that are in the ISA. Everything else just goes straight through.

- The pipeline has 9 fetch/decode stages and 5-13 execute stages (depending on the execution unit). That's a total length of 14-22 stages but the majority go through only 14.

- The bus interface is capable of 3.2 GB/sec in each direction. Maximum utilization is thus when an equal amount of data is incoming and outgoing, assuming that the code is already cached. This isn't always the case, so some algorithms will no doubt be unbalanced. It also means that code no longer needs to choose between reads and writes, it can intermingle these more-or-less freely.

- As I've been saying for some time now, getting MacOS X up and running on the 64-bit PPC should be really simple (far less effort than adopting any other processor type, for example) and running 32-bit applications will be absolutely seamless. Extensions to the system APIs to handle 64-bit may take a bit longer, but this means that Apple can adopt the 970 immediately.

- The bus interface means designing the chipset will be more challenging that the current MPX chipset(s)... especially for a dual processor configuration. Furthermore, since the FSB is point-to-point, each processor in an SMP system needs an additional port on the chipset. Given that this is the case, duals should be feasible but I have a hard time imagining Apple building a 3 or more way SMP system. The pin counts would rapidly get excessive and the only way I could see it working would be to have multiple chipsets with their own memories hooked together via something like RapidIO (thus using a NUMA system). My guess is that we'll need to wait for multi-core GPULs before we see Apple go beyond 2-way SMP.
Providing grist for the rumour mill since 2001.
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Providing grist for the rumour mill since 2001.
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post #237 of 490
I also noted the need for a new custom system controller that would have to be designed from the beginning for X number of processors. Here's the quote:

"System Chip Support

One of the more troublesome hurdle for Apple to overcome in the adoption of the PowerPC 970 processor may be the system engineering aspect of the processor. As described previously, the 4 byte wide unidirectional serial links may provide upwards of 6 to 7 GB of raw bandwidth per second. However, the specification of the ~900 MHz operation on the system board would require considerable investment into the system support chip. Moreover, the nature of the point to point interconnect means that to support a dual CPU system, the companion chip must be designed with the dual CPU SMP in mind, with dedicated channels devoted to each CPU. Furthermore, to support the high bandwidth available on the system interconnect, a dual channel PC2700 DDR SDRAM memory system would appear to be a minimum requirement to support a single CPU. Unless Apple can also obtain a low cost support chip from IBM, the PowerPC 970 processor would likely force the Apple Macintosh product lines to become even more upscale, and Apple would likely retain the use of the PowerPC G4 processors for the lower end iMac and eMac product lines."

My question, not being a chip tech person, is how long would we expect it to take Apple to design/build/manufacture this chip? Considering that IBM says it won't have samples ready for Apple until April - June 2003, and Apple will need this controller chip to test with the new 970, it would seem EXTREMELY OPTIMISTIC to expect anything but just a pre-announcement at MWNY in July, with availability in the Sep 2003 timeframe, if all goes well. MacOS X also has to be modified to be 64-bit compliant, but I expect that's already been done. That just leaves getting the hardware working reliably.

Comments from anyone who actually understands how all this works?
<img src="confused.gif" border="0">

[ 10-16-2002: Message edited by: Dave Marsh ]</p>

- Dave Marsh
iMac Intel 27" 3.4GHz, iPad Air 64GB, iPhone 5 32GB

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- Dave Marsh
iMac Intel 27" 3.4GHz, iPad Air 64GB, iPhone 5 32GB

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post #238 of 490
Like Programmer said, designing multi-processor systems will get unwieldy after 2 CPUs. the CPU and controller communicate with 2 32bit buses; thats at least 120 pins for one CPU. 2 CPUs will need over 200 pins dedicated just for CPU communication, never mind all the other connections needed off the main controller chip. One option is to mount the memory controller right on the same card as the CPU and have a the 2 uni-directional buses talking to only one processor and have a HyperTransport bus connect to other controllers. This way you don't spend time designing an expensive 2-way controller that will be limited to only 2 processors...
post #239 of 490
[quote]Originally posted by Dave Marsh:
<strong>My question, not being a chip tech person, is how long would we expect it to take Apple to design/build/manufacture this chip? Considering that IBM says it won't have samples ready for Apple until April - June 2003, and Apple will need this controller chip to test with the new 970, it would seem EXTREMELY OPTIMISTIC to expect anything but just a pre-announcement at MWNY in July, with availability in the Sep 2003 timeframe, if all goes well. MacOS X also has to be modified to be 64-bit compliant, but I expect that's already been done. That just leaves getting the hardware working reliably.

Comments from anyone who actually understands how all this works?
:confused:
</strong><hr></blockquote>

IBM would have disclosed details of the processor to Apple many months if not over a year ago. If Apple was on board at that time, they would have had access to early silicon and prototypes, not to mention detailed documentation to at least have a controller pretty much designed. At this time I would expect Apple to have working prototypes using early samples.
post #240 of 490
OK. Now, is this where the previously mentioned Apple Processor Interconnect (Apple PI) bus (?) comes in?

- Dave Marsh
iMac Intel 27" 3.4GHz, iPad Air 64GB, iPhone 5 32GB

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- Dave Marsh
iMac Intel 27" 3.4GHz, iPad Air 64GB, iPhone 5 32GB

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