IBM, Freescale Look Beyond Apple

With Apple set to completely transition its computer line to Intel processors later this year, IBM and Freescale have mapped out their post-Apple future, according to an article by Darrell Dunn at InformationWeek. The companies see many opportunities, including the three next-generation videogame consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, to sell tens of millions of processors annually.

Mr. Dunn wrote that during a Monday news conference, IBM and Freescale executives said that their companies will be able to free up resources previously put toward developing the PowerPC as a PC processor. That will enable them to concentrate on "segments ... where both the volume and innovation are more significant [than Apple]," according to Freescale chairman and CEO Michael Mayer.

The companies plan to collaborate as the develop "a common instruction set architecture for future Power processors, and in developing innovations that will extend Power into a broader set of customer implementations," according to Mr. Dunn. They also plan to implement Linux on PowerPC and have created, a community of companies that will jointly support the processor in different markets.

John E. Kelly III, senior VP of technology and intellectual property at IBM, said during the news conference that "the gaming industry is a good proof point for the Power architecture. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have all used the same fundamental architecture and created custom solutions with different operating systems and software stacks. We have shipped tens of millions of Power processors into the gaming industry."

On the Freescale side, the company is looking to increase its presence in the automotive, communications and networking equipment industries.

"Innovation is no longer centered around the PC, and architectures need to expand out beyond that to supercomputers to automobiles," said Mr. Kelly. "This is a major tipping point for the Power architecture."

Thanks to Macworld UK for the link.