More AMD rumors

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
AMD rumors are afoot again (MacBidouille).

Now I don't for a second think that Apple will abandon PPC and go x86 (neither 32 nor 64 bit version). There are too many mines in the water that way. On top of that Jobs has said that they are not abandoning PPC and that PPC has a great future. As a CEO of a large company ha cannot say this and then change just a couple of months later.


There were rumors of G5 (64 bit) processors from Motorola last spring and rumors said that last summer Apple would have at least speed equality with Intel come MWNY 2002.

There were just a few weeks ago rumors of Apple boxes with AMD chips in them. The boxes were welded shut so nobody should see what was inside. FCP supposedley "flew" on these boxes.


AMD needs cash. Apple is "pissed" with Motorola.

So what if the AMD-boxes contained AMD produced PPC G5's?

This would give AMD some sorely needed cash and a second revenue stream. It would let Apple get away from Moto, and it would keep Apple competitive with Wintel until the 970 comes along.

Any thoughts?

At all feasible?



  • Reply 1 of 43
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    I have contemplated the possibility also, but there are some things which you have to take into account (and which make the scernario, to say the least, improbable).

    I think mostly of the expertise AND experience needed to make, nay, design such a chip. If I'm correct, though I may not be, Apple doesn't own the hardware design of the PPC chips in their various machines, and though they may have blueprints, these are most likely patented to the very nanometer, meaning, AMD would have to start roughly from scratch to design a processor capable of handling the PPC instruction set.

    Suppose they pull this off: they design such a processor, and it is scalable and it is faster than current offerings. They would have already spent some money on this, a little more than pocket change.

    Where will they build it? I guess Motorola won't step up and say 'you can use our plant, sure'. For I think a specific processor needs a specific manufacturing installation, and it may just prove very hard to push out PPC's with ease out of their current Athlon/Hammer plants. So, more money to be spent. And time. Lots of time to get all of this done.

    Meaning: if AMD were serious about the PPC (and serious to the extent that it'll be released next year), they should be building it somewhere, and I guess somebody would've already known, and rumors would've started, for this kind of thing is apparently so huge that you cannot hide it.

    That's just my thoughts, though.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    A waste of time. Your thread title is misleading. This subject as been discussed ad nauseum on other threads.

    [ 11-22-2002: Message edited by: MacsRGood4U ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 43
    othelloothello Posts: 1,054member
    this is not a rumour, this is something you thought up last night... <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
  • Reply 4 of 43
    just a quick thought/question:

    i recall reading an article on the differences between AMD procs and Intel procs, where basically the pentium is pure CISC and x86 and all those other geeky words. the AMD system, however, uses a RISC architecture chip (not necessarily PPC, i think), that is nice and relatively "smal", but it has a boat load of other stuff tacked on to the chip, making it "big" and "hot", and acting as a translator for RISC into CISC.

    now, this article was before the Athlon's came out, and was talking about the Athlons in specific. apparently, the chip core was fast enough, that even with the translation, it could keep up with native CISC instructions Intel was using.

    please bear in mind, i'm having to remember all this, and my memory is not perfect.

    now, the big question would be, if this is true, and how AMD does things, could they take off the translator unit, leaving a RISC core, and could that core more easily run Apple stuff?


    tech support extraordinaire
  • Reply 5 of 43
    perhaps the 970 is the new to-be low end chip, what with its low power consumption & heat disbursment it dosen't need all the cooling of the DDR Macs case

    but "the" AMD chip would, and could be rolled out sooner

    much fanfare in one area leaves the other unexposed.
  • Reply 6 of 43
    some more fuel to the fire...

    see this link

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;


  • Reply 7 of 43
    pbpb Posts: 4,234member
    [quote]Originally posted by Dylsexic Manupilator:

    <strong>some more fuel to the fire...

    see this link

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;


    Very very interesting, but...this "Amd" in the Jaguar features could not be something other than Advanced Micro Devices?
  • Reply 8 of 43
    arnarn Posts: 21member
    [quote]Originally posted by PB:


    Very very interesting, but...this "Amd" in the Jaguar features could not be something other than Advanced Micro Devices?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    automount daemon (/usr/sbin/amd)
  • Reply 9 of 43
    Amd = <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;

    Capitalization is important, guys. C'mon, give me a break. There is ZERO evidence for anything between AMD and Apple, and more repetitions of the same rumours doesn't make it more likely to happen.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    [quote]Originally posted by Programmer:

    <strong>There is ZERO evidence for anything between AMD and Apple, and more repetitions of the same rumours doesn't make it more likely to happen.</strong><hr></blockquote>

  • Reply 11 of 43
    What's more, we shouldn't want it to happen. AMD is suffering at the moment, and its not clear that they have the resources or market to compete with the giant that is Intel. Developing a PowerPC chip is only going to take resources away from their x86-64 effort and only stands to gain them a very small market share. It certainly wouldn't pay for itself, and therefore they could not sustain it. MacOS9 is still way too fresh for Apple to transition to MacOSX-only on a new processor yet -- perhaps in a couple of years, but its not going to happen anytime soon with the 970 confirmed to be just around the corner.

    IBM is a far far better supplier since they have their very substantial business to support their own development efforts, and a leading edge MicroElectronics group (with no x86 history) that needs more customers. These guys want to blow the likes of SPARC, MIPS, and Itanium out of the water in their server market, but they need somebody else (i.e. Apple) to sell volume so that they can fund their own development better.

    My guess is that IBM will supply Apple's processors for the next 5 or so years, minimum. Beyond that its too hard to predict. According to published IBM writings, in that kind of a timeframe we could be looking at chips with 8-16 cores (of 970 level complexity) on one chip. The 970's core is pretty well suited to exactly this kind of design -- low power consumption, only ~50 million transistors, high speed synchronous non-multiplexed bus, SMP support for up to 8-way, etc. Smaller processes and the deep pipelines should result in significantly higher speeds. Apple's future is very bright, and it is from IBM.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    Programmer, shouldn't we try to keep this thread on-topic? This is about AMD chips, not the IBM 970!

    Is it possible that Motorola is unloading it's (desktop) PPC business to AMD? Perhaps with Apple playing matchmaker?

    [ 11-22-2002: Message edited by: Locomotive ]</p>
  • Reply 13 of 43
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    AMD making ppc chips is a joke. Even the first PPC chips where based upon existing RISC technology.

    AMD has many projects, including The Barton, the new athlon with 200 mhz FSB bus ,and 512 KB L2 cache, the AThlon 64 (aka the opteron) and the various chipset needed to make it work on new mobos. This is a lot of R&D.

    At best AMD may produce Mot PPC on their plants, if this plants are not used at their full potential (but i have some doubt, AMD is not producing on SOI 0,13 for the moment)

    but this rumor is a classic one, on these board.

    [ 11-22-2002: Message edited by: Powerdoc ]</p>
  • Reply 14 of 43
    [quote]Originally posted by Locomotive:

    <strong>Programmer, shouldn't we try to keep this thread on-topic? This is about AMD chips, not the IBM 970!



    It is on topic though... I'm pointing out how AMD chips would be a bad choice for Apple.

  • Reply 15 of 43
    nevynnevyn Posts: 360member
    [quote]Originally posted by Programmer:

    There is ZERO evidence for anything between AMD and Apple, ...[/QB]<hr></blockquote>

    Not sure that's completely true. Some of the earliest rumors _claimed_ contact between AMD and Apple... then went off down the speculation path of insisting it was a AMD-powered Mac under dev etc.

    What I'm saying is that I could see AMD and Apple spending a LOT of time together discussing, say, HyperTransport... and having the rumormongers insist that was evidence of an AMD-Mac 'any day now, honest'.

    Or perhaps they want AMD to make other pieces of the motherboard chipset, who knows. Custom RAID controller? Whatever.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    opusopus Posts: 15member
    Here is my take on the Apple/AMD situation:

    Apple has been stuck with Motorola's slow breakthroughs in processor development.

    Motorola is considering selling the chip fabrication part of their company.

    AMD is also strapped for cash, but eager to stake their space in the processor world.

    Apple is working with IBM to produce their future processors, but should always keep their options open. We don't want a Motorola-like situation in the future.

    Steve Jobs likes to call the shots, harder to do with a company like IBM, but not as hard with a company like AMD, that needs the boost.

    Apple should purchase the Motorola's processing facilities and hire some of the key personnel. Apple in turn hires AMD to run the manufacturing facilities. Steve can have a lot more input into processor development.

    AMD get access to the intellectual property that Apple and Motorola have and a healthy cash infusion. Apple gets options in the processor market, including a partner that will be more receptive to input (than Motorola was). IBM signs a collaboration aggreement with Apple and AMD, technology exchange and consulting help the RISC processor design transition.

    Looks like a win win situation, as long as IBM is not feeling snubbed in the deal.

    Just my suggestion. I like this scenerio better than a quick with to an entirely new chip architecture. AMD can continue with the G3/G4/G4+ design and maybe deliver the "G5" chip that Motorola hasn't been able to deliver.

    We will have to wait and see what happens, same as always.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    I was listening to NPR the other day and the had an audio snipet from an exec from AMD...the story was about how AMD is losing more and more share to Intel and the quote was something like, "We are planning to divest a lot of our resources in manufacturing other types of chips that will not be competing directly with Intel offergins."
  • Reply 18 of 43
    those 'other' chips are not microprocessors... and no - it is VERY unlikely that AMD would make a PPC ISA compatable chip. Apple could architect a move to another arch, but - to what? 32bit x86? Itanium? the currently unavailable AMD 64 chips? Apple will not make such a change any time soon... We will see steady, moderate performance boosts... and the status will be quo. The earliest moment any concrete info could be learned about future Arch directions will be @ WWDC - so don't hold your breath. early 2003 could be interesting though...
  • Reply 19 of 43
    If Apple is getting chips from AMD then I think that the wireless chips Belle has pointed to are the most likely ones. If Apple were to get CPUs from AMD I suspect that they would not be AMD designed chips--that is, AMD would be acting as a contract fab and not as designer. They may like the extra cash flow right now.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    I doubt Apple will go to AMD. It's just not Apple of them to do that.
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