Saturday, July 24, 2004

Antares Dual Core 970(G5) coming?

Thinksecret and Apple Nova both have interesting information on "Antares" aka 970MP. Antares is a Dual Core(DC) version of the IBM 970 CPU which powers the Apple Powermac G5. The current CPUs run at up to 2.5Ghz but each processor is Single Core requiring two CPU sockets and two distinct Front Side Bus connections to the memory controller. Apple moving to DC 970MP systems would allow them to offer a system with the same power that they utilize today but using only one CPU socket and one FSB connection to the memory controller. The cost savings would have to be rather signifant as the motherboard complexity goes down. This also opens the door for very high end systems based on 2 sockets running 970MP in each socket. That would give you a 4 CPU system for not much more complexity than what we have today.

This is very exciting to me because it means within 2 years we are likely to see DC systems available in consumer Macs like the iMac. High end systems will have 4 cores total running and believe me I know plenty of Final Cut Pro users or even Emagic Logic users who would welcome the extra two processors for processing CPU hungry plugins or encoding video.

What this could also mean is that the POWER5 derivative(the current 970 is a POWER4 derivative) might not hit until 2006. If we must wait that long I'm sure the wait would be worth it. It may even be fabricated on a smaller 65nm process.

The march in computing is moving on at the same quick pace. Rather than a fight to clock the CPU as high as possible we are simply scaling horizontally now adding more cores. I think this is smart since our modern operating systems allow us to multitask more efficiently. Thanks for reading.


Eug said...

Dunno if the rumour is true or not, but a dual-core 970 CPU makes logical sense in terms of time to market. And if the POWER5-lite has to wait until 2006, then so be it.

Che said...

Nice blog! You've been busy. :)

mortgage rate said...

thought-provoking, mootable pv. just my thoughts, well anyways gl & be chipper is what i say

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