IBM Developing Dual-Core Version of PowerPC G5

IBMis Microprocessor division is developing a dual-core version of the PowerPC G5 970 processor, which will be used in workstations and servers sometime in 2005, according to eWEEK.

Code-named iAntares,i the new 970MP processor will 970MP will contain two processing units per chip, with each carrying its own execution core, Level 1 cache and storage subsystems including a Level 2 cache. This change is intended to expand the PowerPCis top speed capabilities, currently at 2.5 GHz, in a dual-core configuration.

Independent microprocessor analyst Peter Glaskowsky told eWEEK that once the new processor is introduced in a Mac G5 server, customers running imaging and scientific applications developed for the Mac platform will appreciate the multicore design.

Dual-core chips have two processing cores on a single piece of silicon, allowing users almost double the processing power in the same amount of space. Dual-core chips offer more performance than their single-core counterparts by adding more parallelism, or the ability to do multiple jobs simultaneously. A dual-core processor could, for example, render a video on one core while running a PCis operating system and other applications on its other core.

Both AMD and Intel have stated that they are planning to bring dual-core processors to the market in 2005. Sources said IBM may start production of the PowerPC 970MP in early 2005. It is not when Apple would start using the 970MP chip, but it is not expected that would happen until mid-2005, at the earliest.