Too Little, Too Late

IBM preps its first dual core PowerPC processor. Welcome to February 2005 fellas.

”He who laughs last laughs loudest”, that must have been the motto of the IBM technical department in charge of dual core processing. Unfortunately, in world of technology it is a saying that rarely holds true.


Announced yesterday (a gargantuan five months after AMD and Intel) and a month after Apple announced it had officially kicked IBM to the curb in favour of its new girlfriend Intel, the PowerPC line has eventually gone dual core. Cue little fanfare for the 970MP, the expected upgrade to the single core 970FX, more commonly known to Apple owners as the G5 processor.

It will be available in speed increments of 1.4GHz to 2.5GHz and has 1MB of L2 cache. Power consumption is said to be roughly 13W when trundling along at the bottom end of the scale, so it seems the company has finally gotten over the well documented problems it has had in this area. Clearly moving to a 90nm fabrication process has helped no end.

And yet with the metallic rumblings still heard in the distance from the Apple/Intel wedding car and the confetti yet to settle who will buy these long overdue processors? Well, Apple will probably still have a few as it will take awhile to switch over all its next generation of Macs, while the upcoming Xbox 360 and (allegedly arriving) Nintendo Revolution are both confirmed adopters of PowerPC hardware. No doubt some low end servers will also serve up a few sympathy offerings.

Ultimately, however, it is no fun being the tortoise when the hare has already scoped the gold medal.


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