The secrets of the new IBM processor
Pending the official announcement, new details emerge on the new IBM processor. The most interesting is the debut speed which will be 750 MHz. The chip, which will be called PPC 750FX to denote its derivation from the current PPC 750CX, will feature some new technologies, as already mentioned in previous editions of Macity. The most significant is the use of a process called CMOS9S which combines Silicon On Insulator (SOI) circuitry with 0.13 micron copper, Low-K Dielectric. As far as we learn, although the architecture is the same as the PPC 750CX, the sum of these new technologies makes it in fact a completely new processor. In particular, the use of SOI and Low-K Dielectric, two systems that lower through innovative insulation systems, the consumption of energy while also reducing heating. According to IBM, the PPC 750CX, whose Sahara code name, pushed to 1 GHz, consumes only 5 watts, very little in comparison with Motorola's own PPCs and, much more so, in comparison with Intel and AMD processors. SOI and Low-K Dielectric, according to IBM, together guarantee a 30% increase in performance for the same consumption. Even the use of important 0.13 micron circuitry. At the moment only Intel, and only very recently and in high-end processors, has reached this level of miniaturization. AMD and Motorola still use 0.18-micron circuitry, and performance should also be high. Beyond the nominal value in MHz, says IBM, says IBM, Sahara will be able to offer the best performance for equal consumption. More details are still waiting to be revealed. Among these, the maximum speed of the first release which can be assumed close to 900 MHz. The rumors that the user processor of the proprietary instructions similar to those of AltiVec are also awaiting clarification. The distribution to producers in samples for the study of new machines. based on the PPC 750FX scheduled for January; serial production shortly thereafter during the year. The timing would suggest that this could be the processor intended for the new iMac scheduled for next spring and for the new iBook series, also scheduled for the first half of 2002.