Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Oct 2005 15:43 UTC, submitted by Hakime Seddik
Hardware, Embedded Systems P.A. Semi, a 150-employee chip startup, wants to make name for itself through attention to detail. The Silicon Valley chip startup, run by chip legend Dan Dobberpuhl-Dobberpuhl, its CEO, presided over the development of the Alpha processor while at Digital Equipment Corp. lifted its veil of secrecy Monday. The company will begin offering a new family of low-power, multicore, PowerPC architecture processors in 2006.
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RE[2]: Too late.
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 24th Oct 2005 16:25 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

It is becoming more and more apparent to me that Apple lied about their reasoning to switch to Intel. They blamed the lack of a future roadmap, and the lack of speed.

Lack of a roadmap? Freescale has plans to built 8-core G4s! IBM *just* put out those dual-core G5s and low power G5s. And even a minor company like this can produce these fast PPC processors. And I didn't even mention Cell!

We can only guess after the true reasons behind the switch (probably something to do with Intel being able to supply chips at every level), but it has nothing to do with a lack of progress in the PPC world.

I wish Apple would have been more honest and open about this.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Too late.
by KugelKurt on Mon 24th Oct 2005 16:35 in reply to "RE[2]: Too late."
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple didn't complain about a lack of a roadmap, but about roadmaps with the wrong priorities. IBM doesn't seem to have any plans for notebook-friendly G5s. Freescale sticks with its G4 CPUs and bad front side bus speed (compared to AMD/Intel).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Too late.
by on Mon 24th Oct 2005 16:51 in reply to "RE[3]: Too late."
Member since:

I think what many people have said, and what has become pretty apparent, is that the switch was all about the laptops. IBM was focussed on server chips and embedded chips, but not a cool, low-power notebook chip. Intel's making some good headyway in solutions for laptops (including both the processor itself and accompanying chipsets), and last I heard, Apple's laptops were a key part of their business.

And yes, they've released a dual-core processor, but no, they still haven't reached the 3Ghz mark that was promised for, what is it now, 2 years ago?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Too late.
by somebody on Mon 24th Oct 2005 18:28 in reply to "RE[3]: Too late."
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

???
Intel's making some good headyway in solutions for laptops
???

Intel Centrino might be good, even I have to admit that. But OSX is 64-bit. And Intel sucks (in quality, speed and power consumption at 64-bit) there. For now, not even one decent 64-bit CPU came out of Intel, do not even think about laptop 64-bit Intel CPU.

So if they are not going back to 32-bit, Intel is the worst choice possible. AMD Turion on the other hand is 64-bit.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Too late.
by kaiwai on Tue 25th Oct 2005 02:00 in reply to "RE[3]: Too late."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Road map was but ONE consideration; the other was the crappy supply issue; like I've said before; anyone remember the XServer fiasco where by the top of the range one had waiting times of WEEKS because IBM couldn't keep up with demand from Apple?!

Please; Motorola couldn't keep up and IBM can't either; the fact is, Apple is growing at a phenominal rate; IBM would rather get instant gratification via their Cell processor than spend time looking at the long term - but hey, this is IBM; bitch to the short term invester with the loudest, most uneducated mouth at the shareholders AGM.

Notebooks didn't need a G5, what it needed as a G3 750GX coupled with Altvec, 533Mhz FSB - it would give them the low power, the decent level of bandwidth, and it wouldn't require re-inveting the wheel, it would be merely a sucessor to an existing product they have - a product that could pay for itself, not just via Apples purchase but others in the embedded market.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Too late.
by Googlesaurus on Mon 24th Oct 2005 18:15 in reply to "RE[2]: Too late."
Googlesaurus Member since:
2005-10-19

"It is becoming more and more apparent to me that Apple lied about their reasoning to switch to Intel."

Could it be Apple got nervous by MS's selection of processors for the Xbox 360?
The first time I heard this "rumor" I dismissed it. Perhaps there really is something to it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Too late.
by somebody on Mon 24th Oct 2005 19:07 in reply to "RE[2]: Too late."
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

It is becoming more and more apparent to me that Apple lied about their reasoning to switch to Intel. They blamed the lack of a future roadmap, and the lack of speed.

Not more and more apparent. It was clear from day one.

Here are few pointers why:

1. Apple suddenly becomes one of smaller IBM customers, no more special treatment. Going with Cell as it is, would be loosing battle. You can't resell overpriced desktops if PS3 for $399 has better hardware. You don't give special treatment to a customer that would mean such low percentage of resale. And there goes Apple-performance myth down the drain

2. Apple decides on Intel (OSX is 64-bit, but Intel is the slowest in competition on that field). Seems that Apple is not sure in success, but it is a win-win situation. If their desktops fail, Intel will be glad to buy their computer department. Intel is just wishing to get some brand name as Apple to have at least PR opportunity against AMD (they lost on R&D as soon as AMD put out 64-bit, and with that fact Intel started following AMD and not the other way around as it was before). AMD was out of consideration because option was not win-win, but win-loose. If they fail AMD is too small to buy Apple

3. Assumptions about performance per Watt are wrong from day one again and missled most of the Jobs fans. Centrino has low power consumption, trouble is that it is 32-bit. Intel still has to put out single 64-bit CPU that doesn't suck power like electric train and which would be even a bit competitive to AMD in speed. Apple is going all over on 64-bit, trouble is that they will be riding crippled horse.

4. Lack of roadmap when IBM is putting out completely new CPU?

5. No 3GHz, but basic Cell is 4.2GHz?

6. Supply problems? Well, I would remember if Apple would be needed preordered even for one day. Stock never runned out and every 6 months Apple put out a new line. Any day I choose I would like to buy Apple, I could just order, pay and take in one day

Now the reason why Apple could succed to fool people that it became faster with move on Intel
- If code is not PPC optimized, well then PPC sucks. Anandtech benchmark should be proof enough that OSX is everything but optimized and that PPC is everything but bad. But when you put software which is not optimized on CPU like Intel this software goes faster (Intel and AMD are faster in some operations). Good side for Apple is that now only a very low percentage of their users are in DTP. So higher percentage of happier (typical home user) and few dissapointed (professional workflow) is still a good PR.

Main trouble in this calculation for that unhappy few ones
- Software that was optimized for PPC like Photoshop will definitely suffer from this move, while badly written and low cost desktop will actualy feel faster. Please do not even consider SSEx here. PPC has already gone far away from vectorization with Cell.

We can only guess after the true reasons behind the switch (probably something to do with Intel being able to supply chips at every level), but it has nothing to do with a lack of progress in the PPC world.

Wrong. Apple lost special treatment and Intel being able and willing to buy their computer section in case of failure is the reason.

I wish Apple would have been more honest and open about this

If they would have been, they would have to admit they are not sure about future. Now, that would be a bad PR move, don't you think;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Too late.
by japail on Mon 24th Oct 2005 23:10 in reply to "RE[3]: Too late."
japail Member since:
2005-06-30

1. The Cell as it exists is inadequate for general-purpose computing. That is at least it would not compete favorably performance-wise with the PPC970FX or PPC970MP.

2. 64-bit computing isn't Apple's selling point. Their customers on average probably do not use or own any 64-bit programs, or even have more than 4GB of RAM. It is unclear how Merom and its descendents will perform with x86-64, but it will largely not matter. It is also ludicrous to suggest that AMD has surpassed Intel in capability for performing R&D simply because of recent implementation strategies utilized by Intel. Intel has been beating AMD at power-consumption on their mobile platform and all signs point toward the continuation of this trend in the future. They have both simply excelled thus far in different areas, and now Intel intends to move its successes in its mobile line into its desktop platform.

3. Apple has done rather little to really transition to 64-bit computing, despite its marketing otherwise. That said, Merom and further will provide the low-power requirements of Intel's mobile line as well as an implementation of x86-64. By 2007, Apple will have no shortage of 64-bit x86 processors for its mobile and desktop platforms.

5. See (1).

The rest of your post seems crazy, so I'm just not going to address it. SSE-optimized Photoshop is extant and all of the filters will be dropped into place and used happily by Mac users everywhere. There is no Cell Photoshop, and there probably never will be.


I have no doubt that Apple was giving IBM a black-eye on its way out. Apple is all about image, and has been for more than a decade. Whatever their motivations were, it doesn't really matter. There's nothing wrong with the prospect of an OS X/x86. They aren't losing out on anything in making the transition.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Too late.
by Tuishimi on Mon 24th Oct 2005 19:10 in reply to "RE[2]: Too late."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Eh? I echo the other two respondents. Apple isn't lying about their motives. IBM still isn't and doesn't plan to give them what they want and need in a chip.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Too late.
by somebody on Mon 24th Oct 2005 19:36 in reply to "RE[3]: Too late."
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Apple isn't lying about their motives. IBM still isn't and doesn't plan to give them what they want and need in a chip.

And that would be?
Lets summarize their claims
- no 3GHz? Cell is 4.2
- short on supply? Do you remember one day when you couldn't buy Apple the day you decided? I sure don't. Supply trouble would mean that demand exists but there is no product
- better power consumption? Intel and 64-bit? BS. Not even worth to mention?

Did I forget something?

And yes, they are not lying, they are keeping quiet about their motives.

Reply Parent Score: 1