IBM to Continue Producing PowerPC Chips Without Apple

IBM plans to continue developing the PowerPC chip, currently used in Apple computers, and will focus on server and embedded chip markets, even though Apple has planned a transition to Intel processors for future Macs, according to an eweek article. IBM intends to pursue more dual core chips based on the ones used in the new G5 Power Mac product line up.

The road map IBM laid out will build on the PowerPC 970MP chip Apple is using in the G5 by creating more powerful and energy efficient processors, meaning chips that have better "performance per watt." Interestingly, Apple sites one of the primary reasons for its planned switch to Intel processors as the PowerPC chipis lower performance per watt.

The current G5 processors from IBM top out at 2.5GHz, and use up to 100 watts when both cores are running. Although that may be fine for a desktop computer, it wonit do in a laptop, which is why the PowerBook and iBook still rely on the older G4 processors.

IBM is also providing PowerPC processors to Microsoft for the new XBox 360, which may ultimately prove to be a far more lucrative market for the chip maker.