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Katmai outgunned by Motorola's AltiVec

Copper bottomed G4 close to release

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Motorola is close to shipping its additional instruction set for the G3 (PowerPC 750) processor, codenamed AltiVec. The instructions will ultimately be included in the G4, sources added. The technology is likely to be unveiled at the Microprocessor Forum and according to reports will give Katmai a run for its money. The AltiVec instructions were, according to the same sources, the reasons IBM and Motorola fell out over the PowerPC earlier this year. AltiVec has similar additional instructions to Intel's Katmai but includes a vector permute instruction. There are over 160 additional instructions. Unlike Katmai, which has a limit of eight 128 bit registers, AltiVec has 32, which is understood to vastly increase performance. The product is likely to use a .18 micron copper technology but it will be pin compatible with the PowerPC 750 (the G3). ® Click here for more stories

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