A New Thunderbird?

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
More than a year ago, Motorola was working on a chip called Thunderbird that had many motherboard functions built into it, such as PCI controller, memory controller, and more. The idea was to eliminate many of the separate chip sets that must go on a typical motherboard. The motherboard can be smaller and cheaper. The processor itself was not very impressive, but it would serve the very low end market. If a Mac were made with such an all-in-one processor chip, it really could be sold cheaper and still make a good margin. I forgot about it after hearing no more. Now, someone mentioned such a chip as a possibility from Motorola, and it was on the super-long thread about the G5. I think it deserves its own thread, if something like this is really in the works now.

Anyone got news, information or rumors about it? If not, if it was wild speculation, we can just let this thread fade away into oblivion.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Sounds alot like what the 8560 is. It has an e500 core that is comparable in performance to the G4 and an FPU. All it needs is Altivec and it would make an ideal processor for single CPU systems like the iMac, iBook and possibly even the PowerBook. 8580 anytime soon? Who knows?
  • Reply 2 of 2
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Book E makes this sort of integration much easier than it has been before, because it allows things like Ethernet and PCI to be "pieces" that are "snapped on" to the core relatively easily.

    It'll be most useful in low cost and space-constrained products, the same way that graphics chips are favored over graphics boards in laptops.

    Best of all, since both Mot and IBM have signed on to Book E, Apple could use both of them to make its chips - it wouldn't be tied to a single vendor. Book E gives Apple a lot of flexibility at the low end, which Ive and company are probably looking forward to. But the high end boards will still be made the old-fashioned way. If switched fabrics are old-fashioned, anyway.
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