Forbes Probes Dual-Core G4's Future For Mac

Forbesi Erik Hasseldahl has written a piece looking at whether or not the new dual-core G4 processor announced by Motorola/Freescale will be coming to a Mac near you sometime in the future. The processor was announced by Freescale, the name of the Motorolais spun-off microprocessor division, late last month. It features a smaller process, making the processor smaller and cooler while using less power, and some iterations will have dual cores, making them effectively two processors in one.

The announcement of this new processor immediately set off speculation in the Mac world that Apple might use them in new Macs, specifically new PowerBooks, which is the subject of Mr. Hasseldahlis piece:

While the chip Freescale described on Tuesday--which bears the arcane product name MPC8641D--probably isnit going into a Mac anytime soon, thereis nothing stopping Freescale from adapting it and making a dual-core chip aimed at Appleis flagship product, says Kevin Krewell, analyst with Instat/MDR, the market research outfit that hosted the Processor Forum event.

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"They could definitely use a chip like that one in some future Mac, but not without making some changes to it first," Krewell says.

Freescaleis chip however has one crucial difference from one that would go into a Mac, Krewell says. It uses an interconnect technology called Rapid I/O for talking to other chips in the computer, and to peripherals outside the system. Apple uses HyperTransport as the interconnect technology inside its two G5 machines. Krewell says it would be a relatively simple matter for Freescale to design another dual-core chip using Hypertransport instead of Rapid I/O.

You can find much more in the full article at Forbesi Web site.