“IBM’s technically as yet unannounced PowerPC 970FX has won the Microprocessor Report Analysts’ Choice Award for Best Desktop Processor. And according to MR editor-in-chief Peter Glaskowsky, Intel and AMD had better watch out,” Tony Smith report for The Register. “The 970FX is the 90nm die-shrink of the original 130nm PowerPC 970, launched back in October 2002 and finally shipped last summer, most notably inside Apple’s Power Mac G5.”
“IBM is expected to launch the 970FX formally next week at the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), along with its PowerTune technology, which adds SpeedStep-style clock frequency scaling that can synchronise across multiple processors,” Smith reports. “The chip should be shipping very shortly. Apple’s Xserve G5, which is based on the 970FX, is due to ship this month.”
“IBM documentation has already revealed the 970FX’s impressive power characteristics: 24.5W at 2GHz. The 130nm 970, by contrast, eats up 51W at 1.8GHz, Smith reports. “Glaskowsky also believes Apple will be able to get the part up to 3GHz by the summer – a promise made by CEO Steve Jobs last year. ‘That’s an aggressive target,’ Glaskowsky notes, ‘but it should be achievable. The 970FX has the necessary architectural sophistication in its deep pipelines to make this speed possible, and IBM has the necessary technology in its CMOS 10S process. At 3GHz, the 970FX should outrun the chips we expect from AMD and Intel in the same time frame.'”
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