Q&A With Apple & IBM Execs Challenges 64-Bit Desktop Exclusive, No G5 Laptops Soon

Digital Video Editingis Charlie White caught Appleis Jon Rubinstein (Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering) and IBMis Chekib Akrout (Vice President, PowerPC & Networking Technology Development) by surprise during an interview at the recent WorldWide Developeris Conference.

White challenged Appleis claims of the PowerMac G5 being the worldis first 64-bit desktop machine. From the Q&A:

DMN: Now, youire saying itis the first 64-bit desktop machine. But isnit there an Opteron dual-processor machine? It shipped on June 4th. BOXX Technologies shipped it. It has an Opteron 244 in it.

Rubinstein: Uh...

Akrout: Itis not a desktop.

DMN: Thatis a desktop unit.

Akrout: It depends on what you call a desktop, now. These? From a full desktop per se, this is the first one. I donit know how you really distinguish the other one as a desktop.

DMN: Well, itis a dual processor desktop machine, just like that one.

Akrout: Itis not 64, then.

DMN: Yes, itis a 64-bit machine with two Opteron chips in it. It started shipping June 4th.

Akrout: That weill double check, but in my mind, it wasnit.

Despite Appleis traditional policy of not discussing future products, White also managed to glean some other interesting information about the feasibility of seeing the new G5 in the PowerBook.

DMN: Do you see the notebook line, the PowerBooks containing the G5 any time soon?

Rubinstein: What you need to do is see one of these G5 machines -- look at a picture on the Web -- look at the size of the heat sink.

DMN: Yeah, itis too big for a notebook, isnit it. [They laugh] Didnit hurt to ask.

Rubinstein: Letis put it this way: It would make a pretty big notebook.

DMN: Well then, are you and IBM in development of a notebook version of this chip?

Rubinstein: We really canit talk about future products. You know, weive spent the last three years working on this product, and we want to spend at least the next twenty-four hours on this one.

One of the other questions of note involved Appleis future relationship with Motorola in the face of the new processor. Appleis Rubenstein responded by saying, "We have a road map that goes forward with Motorola as well. They have certain expertise thatis valuable to us. Our portables and iMacs are based on G4 today. IBM is still making our iBook processors. Basically, weire working with both companies. Thatis going fine. This partnership with IBM has led us to a whole new class of machine. Weire just really jazzed about that."

The interview may be read in its entirety at Digital Video Editingis Web site.