IBM says G5 processor yields continue to improve

“Despite an apparent slowdown in the IC market, IBM Corp. plans to boost the wafer output within its 300-mm fab over the next quarter, according to the company on Monday (Oct. 18). IBM’s Microelectronics Group is also expected to show break-even results for the year, according to analysts,” Mark LaPedus reports for Silicon Strategies.

“IBM doubled the output within the 300-mm fab in the third quarter and has set plans to boost production by 40 percent in the fourth quarter, said Mark Loughridge, senior vice president and chief financial officer for the computer giant (Armonk, N.Y.) The company’s 300-mm fab is located in East Fishkill, New York,” LaPedus reports. “Although IBM is seeing ongoing demand in the foundry business, the company is still reportedly struggling with its fab yields. For months, the unit has struggled with chip yields in the 300-mm fab, a 130- and 90-nm plant.”

LaPedus reports, “Last week, Apple Computer Inc. reported stellar results despite availability problems with its 64-bit G5 processors… Used in Apple’s Mac-based computers, the 64-bit G5 processors are built on a foundry basis by IBM Corp.’s Microelectronics Group… During a conference call on Monday, however, Loughridge indicated that the chip unit is showing some improvement. ‘300-mm yields continue to improve,’ he said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Great news for Apple that IBM is getting handle on their fab issues. More G5s made more efficiently mean more supply for the increasing demand for the new iMac G5 and Power Mac lines. Apple looks to benefit from the increased availability.


  1. So it could be that it’s not just IBM’s production that’s a problem for Apple, but also the allocation. Anybody know anything about this? – DavidO

    AFAIK and can gather, the other PPC variants such as for Nintendo are not in production yet or even taped out. Cell maybe close. So I don’t think allocation plays role in the shortage. That said, PPC is not the only product IBM fabbed.

  2. I’m dubious of these claims about improvements in production and delivery. We ordered our iMac G5 from the Apple store on 9/25. We’re told that it might be shipped by 10/26. That’s an exceptionally long wait in anyone’s book for a basic computer with nothing special, the 20-model that ought to be available to a waiting flock of buyers.

  3. Also, remember that the upcoming Microsoft XBox 2 will use multiple G5 processors. They likely will be reduced feauture set G5 processors, missing Altivec, smaller caches, slower clock speed etc. even with IBM eliminating features, I’m not sure if they could produce them on a 300nm fab. I love my dual 2.5Ghz Mac G5. Best purchase I’ve made in years, well work saving for. Call of Duty on the PowerMac is amazing even at 1920×1200.

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