New Freescale 90nm G4 processor likely to find home in Apple PowerBook, iBook

“Motorola’s erstwhile chip division, Freescale, is expected to launch its latest G4-class processor, the MPC7448, today at its Smart Networks Developer Forum, being held this week in Frankfurt,’ Tony Smith reports for The Register. “The new chip is Freescale’s first 90nm G4 and is based on the company’s e600 core, the foundation for Freescale’s upcoming line of dual-core chips. The 7448, however, contains just one core, clocked to beyond 1.5GHz. It contains 32KB of L1 cache and 1MB of L2, double the 512KB of L2 found in the MPC7447A currently driving Apple’s PowerBook G4 and iBook G4 notebooks. Indeed, the 7448 is likely to provide Apple with its next notebook speed bump, as the company struggles to fit the hot-running PowerPC 970FX – aka the G5 – into a laptop.”

Full article here.


  1. Yes, hairbo. While this doesn’t apply to the Power Mac, Xserve, PowerBook or iMac, it will look good for the eMac, and iBook.

    The bad thing is that the MPC7448 is expected to sample in 1H 2005, and the MPC 8641(D) is expected to sample in 2H 2005.

  2. This appears to be very good news. What good is increased CPU performance if the battery life is degraded or the laptop heats up to uncomfortable temperatures?

    Shifting to a 90nm process was apparently not sufficient to enable putting a high performance G5 into a Powerbook. It should be possible to put a lower clock speed G5 into a Powerbook, but would it have any real benefits relative to the current G4?

    I am afraid that the Powerbook won’t go beyond the G4 until IBM delivers on the next generation of PPC CPU’s (has anyone heard anything recently about them?). In the meantime the current G4 is pretty darn good and the 90nm G4 appears to represent a reasonable incremental enhancement.

  3. Availability!

    They can change the name but it is still Motorola. Don’t put off buying decisions waiting for Freescale to learn the 90 nm fab process.

    We will probably see a G5 in a Powerbook before we see a 90 nm G4 in an iBook.

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