New PPC from IBM
Perhaps Motorola will not present any news at the next processor conference held next week, but IBM has an interesting surprise in store for the Mac world. According to some sources, in fact, Big Blue will use the meeting to announce the next generation of its PPC processors, codenamed Sahara. The chips will represent a significant step forward compared to the current PPC 750, codenamed SideWinder, used in iBooks and iMacs, both from a technological and nominal speed point of view. According to many sites that have already obtained the Sahara specifications, although it will be based on the same architecture as the PPC 750, it will have a speed between 700 and a GHz, integrating some of the most recent innovations among those developed by IBMI, the new user circuitry processor in copper and, above all, it will be based on SOI technology, Silicon On Insulator, which guarantees lower consumption and less heating. The new processor, which will probably be called PPC 405LP, could also adopt a new technology to drastically reduce the demand for energy. This system would allow to exclude parts of the processor not in use when they are not put to work. A similar system has been announced by Intel for the chip, codenamed Banias, released only in 2003. To note that, finally, according to eWeek Sahara user also a series of sets of instructions similar to AltiVec even if it does not require the presence of a AltiVec co-processor to speed up application porestations. In this regard, it is not clear whether this accelerator will be compatible with Motorola's Velocity Engine or it is something else totally different. Two years ago IBM purchased the right to produce AltiVec-accelerated chips but never released any processor with this feature. Note that IBM has already envisaged a future implementation of Sahara, this time with 0.13 micron circuitry that will be presented. Further on, according to eWeek Sahara, it will be available to OEMs, including Apple, from the beginning of next month to evaluate its performance. The use in serial products foreseeable for the first months of 2002. It can be imagined that Sahara will make its debut in a new version of the iBook, probably released next spring, and in the rumored iMac 2.