BusinessWeek Examines PowerBook G5 Challenges

With the addition of the Power Mac G5 to Appleis product line in June, many Mac users immediately began lusting after and speculating on a G5 Power Book. The reality, however, is that the G5 is too hot for a portable computer, and it draws too much power. Our take on the idea of a PowerBook G5 is a simple "donit hold your breath." While itis likely to come at some point, it isnit likely to be any time soon.

BusinessWeekis Alex Salkever says largely the same thing, but he says that some recent developments in the blade server market might be bringing the G5 closer to the PowerBook, though you still shouldnit hold your breath. From BusinessWeek:

The simple solution to all of these problems is to introduce a low-power, slower-speed chip specifically for laptops. Thatis what Apple and Motorola have done in the past with G4 laptop chips. And thatis what Intel (INTC ) has done with its Centrino line of processors. Building a specialized version does require some modifications to the guts of the chips and the way they process bits and bytes of information, as well as tweaks to how they consume power.

Much of the requisite modifications needed to convert a G5 desktop chipset into one that works in a laptop may have already taken place, however. Hereis my logic: On Nov. 15, IBM introduced a version of its PPC 970 chips designed to run in a so-called blade server. These wafer-thin machines can fit in a rack stacked sideways or top to bottom. The racks keep all the boxes in a central place and make for an easy point of connectivity as well as easy access and physical management.


Hereis the connection: Rack-mounted blade servers share some of the same problems as laptops, namely, heat output and power consumption. Often measuring less than an inch thick, they must work in close quarters where ventilation is scant. For that reason, keeping them cool is difficult, with possible heat-extraction mechanisms limited due to the surroundings and the small physical enclosure of the server itself.

Thereis much more in the full article, including information on Appleis growing server business, and we recommend it as a good read.