Freescale's 90nm PowerPC G4 chip destine for Apple laptops

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Freescale Semiconductor on Monday began showcasing the MPC7448, its latest high-performance PowerPC processor and the highly touted successor to the MPC7447A chip used in current Apple PowerBook G4 systems.



Based on Freescale's e600 PowerPC core, the MPC7448 represents the most significant update to the MPC74xx family of processors to date and is expected to offer speeds from 600 MHz to 1.7 GHz with the system bus running up to 200 MHz.



The MPC7448 is also the first product in the MPC74xx family to use Freescale's 90 nanometer (nm) silicon-on-insulator (SOI) CMOS process that will significantly increase clock and bus speeds while reducing power requirements.



Running much cooler than its predecessor, the MPC7448 offers GHz-class performance at less than 10 Watts. The MPC7448 power management features also include nap and sleep modes and introduce dynamic frequency switching that permits system software to reduce power "on the fly."



The e600 PowerPC core packs AltiVec technology, a single instruction multiple data (SIMD) engine capable of accelerating networking applications, such as security algorithms, network stack processing, routing and more.



"The MPC7448 is a seamless step up in performance that demonstrates Freescale's continued commitment to developing compatible high-performance PowerPC processors for the embedded market," the company said in a statement. It is also a stepping stone to the MPC8641D dual-core processor based on the same e600 PowerPC core.



According to Freescale documents, the MPC7448 and MPC8641D PowerPC G4 processors share many architectural similarities that make them highly compatible, including support for asymmetric and symmetric multiprocessing, identical 32KB L1 cache and 1MB L2 cache, and identical AltiVec technology attributes and performance.



Additionally the same customer application binary code can run on the MPC7448 and MPC8641D, meaning Apple could adopt the dual-core G4 chip for its mobile offerings down the line. However, by the time Freescale begins mass-producing the MPC8641D, Apple will likely be ready to debut a dual-core PowerBook based on Intel's Yonah mobile processor.



In the meantime, Freescale said the MPC7448 -- which has been sampling since February -- is planned to be in full production in October 2005. The chip will likely begin showing up in Apple laptop-based systems shortly thereafter, offering a substantial increase in battery performance and slight speed boost over today's systems.



According to EEMBC (Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium) certified performance benchmark tests, a 1.7GHz MPC7448 scored a 350.8 in the DENbench suite "out-of-the-box," while AltiVec engine optimization helped double application performance to 762.0.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 136
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Too little, too late.



    With the powerbook G5's just around the corner (we all know they are!), this is just another instance of motorola/freescale being late to the party.
  • Reply 2 of 136
    timmybtimmyb Posts: 12member
    These sound pretty impressive to me. If these appear in the iBooks around octocber/november, when will we see the next revision of the iBook? Would they really wait until then and miss the education season, or will we see it at NECC?
  • Reply 3 of 136
    thttht Posts: 3,212member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    Based on Freescale's e600 PowerPC core, the MPC7448 represents the most significant update to the MPC74xx family of processors to date and is expected to offer speeds from 600 MHz to 1.7 GHz with the system bus running up to 200 MHz.



    The most significant update to the MPC74xx family of processors is the 7410 -> 7450 update. Unless, "74xx" does not include the 7400/7410?



    Quote:

    The e600 PowerPC core packs AltiVec technology and a single instruction multiple data (SIMD) engine capable of accelerating networking applications, such as security algorithms, network stack processing, routing and more.



    AltiVec is the SIMD engine capable of ...



    Quote:

    According to Freescale documents, the MPC7448 and MPC8641D PowerPC G4 processors share many architectural similarities that make them highly compatible, including support for asymmetric and symmetric multiprocessing, identical 32KB L1 cache and 1MB L2 cache, and identical AltiVec technology attributes and performance.



    The 7448 and 8641 come in different packaging with different bus protocols. They obviously would support the same software, but hardware-wise, the 8641 represents a brand new logic board architecture, not the drop-in replacement to existing boards that is the 7448. Ie, they are not really compatible from a hardware perspective.



    Quote:

    In the meantime, Freescale said the MPC7448 -- which has been sampling since February -- is planned to be in full production in October 2005. The chip will likely begin showing up in Apple laptop-based systems shortly thereafter, offering a substantial increase in battery performance and slight speed boost over today's systems.



    Wow. Whatever happened to volume production in 2H 05? It's October now?
  • Reply 4 of 136
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    [B]The most significant update to the MPC74xx family of processors is the 7410 -> 7450 update. Unless, "74xx" does not include the 7400/7410?



    "The most significant update" -- those were Freescale's words, not ours



    Quote:

    AltiVec is the SIMD engine capable of ...



    And that was a misplaced "and" that was corrected immediately.



    Thanks,



    Kasper
  • Reply 5 of 136
    jms698jms698 Posts: 102member
    I was thinking of waiting for the next Powerbook update before switching, but November is too far away. OS X here I come! 8)
  • Reply 6 of 136
    jms698jms698 Posts: 102member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Louzer

    Too little, too late.



    With the powerbook G5's just around the corner (we all know they are!), this is just another instance of motorola/freescale being late to the party.




    G5?!?! The whole reason Apple is switching to Intel is because a powerbook G5 is impossible.



    But I agree: too little, too late. Apple will probably just exploit the savings in power consumption by using a smaller battery, thereby increasing their profit margins. They've done it before (Ti -> Al).
  • Reply 7 of 136
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Cool, let's switch back to PowerPC.
  • Reply 8 of 136
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,409member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Louzer

    Too little, too late.



    With the powerbook G5's just around the corner (we all know they are!), this is just another instance of motorola/freescale being late to the party.




    I agree with JMS... powerbook g5 WILL NOT happen no matter what you think. Apple is not going to do a redesign for a computer for the g5 then redesign the whole notebook 6 months later for the intel books. Apple can EASILY get away with just using 7447b's for another 8 months at 1.8ghz. This is a good thing for the 7448 to come how now. I've been waiting for it for a long time and this was great news when I woke up today. Unfortunately I'm going to wait for an intel powerbook at this point. I think I'm just going to pick up a new iBook when they are finally released.



    The 7448 would have been the next generation powerbook as I've been saying the last 18 months. The e600 had more promise (WAY BETTER POWER MANAGEMENT) than the 970gx ever thought of having. I just wish this was done for the last update so I'd ahve one on my desk right now.
  • Reply 9 of 136
    gugygugy Posts: 794member
    Powerbook G5 was a good dream that turned out to be a nightmare!

    After Steve's keynote, say goodbye the PB G5.

    Too bad.

    i agree that Apple will not develop too much on th PB front until Intel comes out.

    We might see upgrades in the PB line but my feeling is that they will not be impressive at all.
  • Reply 10 of 136
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Long live the PowerPC!



    Although it sounds like the first new G4s will mainly gain battery life, not much speed--and after that, more speed will follow but it may not be needed because Apple will be on to Intel!



    Still, it's nice to think there will be some better G4 laptops coming to tide us over.



    I'll still hold out for my YonahBook though
  • Reply 11 of 136
    I'd like to see a higher res screen / definitely better screen on the 12". That would be a big enough incentive for a lot of us add an improved graphics card and the 7448 and a lot of us would be happy. Not sure if DDR2 RAM is possible or even necessary with the more efficient chip.



    There is room for improvement before moving to intel. September will make 9 months without an update. If they wait till Oct. or Nov. they better have some damn good improvements.



    I'm waiting for this update. a 13" or 14" widescreen PB is my dream machine right now. 15" is just a tiny bit to bulky for my taste and the 12" screen just plain sucks! (no offense to the iBook users).
  • Reply 12 of 136
    mike12309mike12309 Posts: 135member
    yeah indeed, to little to late! sorry Powerpc, we dont care how much you reduce your power consumption, we are switching to the Hot-running power sucking Intel's, so there!



    hmm... wait a second here... why does it feel like i just cut off my nose? eww its bleeding! whats the number for 911 again?



    ----

    Mike
  • Reply 13 of 136
    mike12309mike12309 Posts: 135member
    oh i forgot to add, for those who complain that we will see no upgrades to the PB line. i say its better that way, we could switch to intel today -- I mean do you really want a shit book like what Pc's are today... i mean who wants a 2 hour battery life "portable" (cough desktop cough) computer? Besides i doubt it would be much better as far as preformance... everyone knows Intel Mhz are worth real much.



    --------

    Mike
  • Reply 14 of 136
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mike12309

    oh i forgot to add, for those who complain that we will see no upgrades to the PB line. i say its better that way, we could switch to intel today -- I mean do you really want a shit book like what Pc's are today... i mean who wants a 2 hour battery life "portable" (cough desktop cough) computer? Besides i doubt it would be much better as far as preformance... everyone knows Intel Mhz are worth real much.



    --------

    Mike




    will you stop trolling?
  • Reply 15 of 136
    mike12309mike12309 Posts: 135member
    arnt the people who complained in the first place trolling?
  • Reply 16 of 136
    maddanmaddan Posts: 75member
    Apple needs to speed bump and improve the graphics of the Mac Mini and iBook around August. This suggests to me that Powerbooks with the PPC 7448 will be introduced at the Paris Expo and may very well be the last PPC Powerbooks.
  • Reply 17 of 136
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,393member
    I was hoping this article was going to say the Freescale 8641D was going into a powerbook. A chip like this may actually make me buy a PPC mac even thought they are going to be obsolete in a short time...
  • Reply 18 of 136
    markimarki Posts: 1member
    Keep in mind that Motorola would not publicly introduce this information if they had Apple signed up to ship (it would make Jobs angry). Either they have given up hope of an Apple design win, OR they pushed back the "declared volume shipping date", so that Apple can still intro a product sooner and have it be a surprise. So an August/Sept intro is possible.



    I think it is highly likely that Apple will update most of its products with new PowerPC variants, before the Intel Transition. The transition is too long, and sales will suffer too much if that was not the case. Besides Jobs said plainly they have more PowerPC products coming.



    It seems likely to me that the PB will be upgraded this fall, and a new Intel based PB introduced Spring 2006 (based on supposition that portables will be first in the transition, the Intel Yonah is on schedule, and Apple is planning on beating the declared June deadline for Intel introduction).
  • Reply 19 of 136
    auroraaurora Posts: 1,142member
    I wish i had a Dollar for every promise,roadmap and dream Moto puts out. They were talking this same crap last years Please. B.S. Remember the G4 is all the way to 1.67 at the moment Snake oil
  • Reply 20 of 136
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,409member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aurora

    I wish i had a Dollar for every promise,roadmap and dream Moto puts out. They were talking this same crap last years Please. B.S. Remember the G4 is all the way to 1.67 at the moment Snake oil



    Actually, you can purchase 2ghz 7447b g4's... I have a feeling apple only updated to 1.67 in order to have a little breathing room. Say they upgraded straight to 1.8 or 2ghz last jan... and the powerbook updates are due in November (or sooner)... apple would have NO WHERE TO UPGRADE TO. They made it this way so they can have at least a few more upgrades since they had NO idea when the 970gx was going to be ready. Now with the intel transition they really only need 1 more upgrade cycle with the 7447 or 7448... then its all said and done.
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