Thursday, July 07, 2005
IBM announces dual-core G5 970MP and low power G5 970FX
IBM today finally officially announced the long-rumoured dual-core G5 970MP at the 2005 Power Everywhere Forum. (Japanese press release) The chip is expected to hit 2.5 GHz and will sport a total of 2 MB L2 cache, as we had predicted. I would expect to see a quad G5 Power Mac based on this chip relatively soon (within the next 6 months).
IBM also announced a low power version of the G5 970FX, with a rated power utilization of 16 Watts at 1.6 GHz. This specification is IBM's "typical" power, which is significantly lower than its maximum power. A reasonable estimate might be that a 1.8 GHz G5 970FX could be produced with a maximum power utilization not too much higher than 30 Watts (which is appropriate for a laptop). A laptop G5 at 1.8 GHz would be in agreement with earlier predictions.
While a Power Mac based on the dual-core 970MP seems obvious, it's not so clear for a new PowerBook based on the low-power 970FX. A G5-based PowerBook would require an entirely new design, and such a machine is unlikely to be released if the switch to Intel in PowerBooks came early next year. It is possible that Apple may choose to release a speed-bumped PowerBook using the current design and the new G4 7448, which is a direct replacement for the 7447A used in current PowerBooks. In 2006 Apple could release an x86 PowerBook based on the new dual-core Pentium M Yonah to replace the G4-based PowerBooks, skipping the G5 entirely.
Thanks to M. Isobe and Xlr8yourmac.com, who first broke the 970MP and low power 970FX news.
The English press release is now available:
Momentum for Power Architecture Technology Accelerates in Japan
IBM today announced the newest member of the Power Architecture family of microprocessors -- the PowerPC 970MP. The new processor is a dual-core version of IBM's award winning PowerPC 970FX, targeted for clients who desire a low-cost, high performance, 64-bit, symmetric multiprocessing (SMP)-capable system in a small package with ranges from 1.4 to 2.5 GHz. The microprocessor also provides power-saving features that system architects can use to dynamically control the system power.
The IBM PowerPC 970MP microprocessor builds on the proven 64-bit IBM Power Architecture family and is designed for entry level servers as well as to provide new levels of performance and power management for the embedded marketplace. The increased computing density of the PowerPC 970MP brings a new level of performance to a variety of applications, from HPC clusters to demanding embedded system applications such as high performance storage, single board computer and high performance networking applications.
Each of the two 64-bit PowerPC 970MP cores has its own dedicated 1MB L2 cache, resulting in performance more than double that of the PowerPC 970FX. This design provides clients with a wide range of performance and power operating points that can be selected dynamically to match system processing needs. The frequency and voltage of both cores can be scaled downward to reduce the power during periods of reduced workload. For further power savings, each core can be independently placed in a power-saving state called doze, while the other core continues operation. Finally, one of the cores can be completely de-powered during periods of less stringent performance requirements.
IBM also announced today new low-power extensions to its award-winning PowerPC 970FX offering. This newest offering is targeted for clients who desire a low-cost 64-bit processor featuring high performance, a sub-20 Watt power envelope and SMP. The new offering is targeted to provide an operating power of 13W at 1.4 GHz and 16W at 1.6GHz under typical workloads. The microprocessor also provides power-saving features that system architects can use to dynamically control the system power.
The 64-bitPowerPC 970FX microprocessor builds on the proven 64-bit IBM Power Architecture family and is suited to embedded applications including imaging and networking, and provides new levels of performance and power management for the embedded marketplace. Designed to run at frequencies up to 2.7 GHz, the PowerPC 970FX includes a 512KB L2 cache, provides native 64-bit and 32-bit application compatibility and uses a high bandwidth processor bus capable of delivering up to 7.1 GB/s to keep the processor core and the SIMD/Vector engine fed with data. The processor core can dispatch five instructions per cycle, and issue one instruction per cycle to each of its ten execution units, including two fixed point, two floating point, two load store, two vector and two system units. The L1 instruction cache holds 64 KB, the L1 data cache holds 32 KB, and each processor has its own dedicated 1MB L2 cache.