Originally posted by snoopy
Not many weeks ago the table of contents for a 970MP was circulating around, a dual core 970FX type chip from what I could tell. How does this fit with your information? Would this be the dual core PowerBook chip you speak of? Most folks believe it is for the next Power Mac upgrade, getting to a quad with two such chips. So far, your posts on IBM chips seem to be the most trustworthy. Are you able to shed any light on this 970MP thing?
The way I understand it, there are two multi-core chip designs underway. There is one based off the low-voltage 970 chip that is being specifically worked on for mobile use. There are some design enhancements over the standard desktop 970FX. I believe the major change is L2 increase. I don't believe there is significant architectural overhaul on the chip, but it is slated for mobile use, as stated. We'll first see a low-voltage single core, though a dual-core version may be on the market sometime during the second half of next year, barring any major hitches (and also depending largely on the 65nm shrink and how successful it is - I don't believe the mobile multi-core design is planned at 90nm). This is based off the current 970FX. I do not believe it is the 970MP and I think the 970MP designation is external from IBM. The Antares project, however, is POWER5 based and really a new generation. This would be the chip that Thinksecret reported on. I personally suspect we will see it in January, as ThinkSecret reported. Information I have received on the project indicates that each core will also have multi-threading capability. There are other refinements, but I'm not a chip guru nor do I want to put too much out there.
The mobile 970 is based off the low-voltage FX, as stated, and will come after the desktop multi-core chips. IBM is also working with Apple on mobile versions of Antares, though neither party is sure when those will be ready or what they will be like. The good news is that both parties are focusing on portable specific chips that are more L2 heavy. Have not asked if the pipeline length is the same as the 970FX, though I assume it is.The Following is my opinion based on what I know:
I believe Apple will go 100% G5 come January, though there is a possibility the iBook will keep the G4 a bit longer, becoming the last to jump just as it was with the G3. I think a mobile G5 solution will be ready in January and that it will be placed in the PowerBooks. Lower clocked G5s could find their way into te iBooks coupled with slower memory, lesser GPU, etc.
The iMac is already G5, though I think we will see the new iMac sport dual-core G5s with the PowerMac have dual CPUs featuring the dual-core.
I think the eMac may get one more revision as a G4, though it may get discontinued altogether. We may finally see a box. I would favor the same configs as the iMac G5, minus the display cost (only a few hundred bucks). More expandability from the box, but you end up paying more if you want a new display and you miss out on the elegance. The new iMac actually gives some real advantage to the AIO because of minimal clutter.
If the iBook keeps the G4 (going up to 1.5GHZ maybe?) then I see it getting the G5 if the dual-core mobile version arrive by late summer, early fall (about a year from now).
Granted, there are still some "ifs". If IBM can deliver the desktop dual-core G5s for January shipment in quantity then Apple would experience a strong performance leap and jump to the head of the industry in chip technology, for a brief period. G5 PowerBooks would also help increase sales.
If IBM can deliver in quantity (not as big an "if" as it was 9 months ago, though still substantial in size) for the PowerBooks, iMacs, iBooks, and PowerMacs in time for a January/February release, Apple would hit record sales numbers. IBM would also hit records for its chip fabbing business. Both companies have strong incentives to do so.