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PowerPC G4 not late, says Motorola

Expect big news in Q3, promises company

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Motorola today called The Register to stress that it's PowerPC G4 production process is still running to plan. That contradicts a story posted last week on Apple-oriented Web site AppleInsider, which cited unnamed Motorola sources who claimed that the company had fallen way behind schedule. Motorola's head PowerPC spin-paramedic, director of PowerPC marketing Will Swearingen, said those claims were completely untrue, and that the company was still on course to roll-out the PowerPC G4, aka the PowerPC 7400, in volume around about the middle of this year. That's the timeframe Motorola PowerPC project manager Paul Reed unveiled at last October's Microprocessor Forum. Swearingen also promised Motorola would make a major announcement about the G4 "in the third quarter", when the company would be joined by "multiple companies from multiple markets". He would give no further details, but said the announcement might be comparable to a typical Intel product launch where "by the World's greatest coincidence 25 computer vendors announce they're shipping machines based on that product that very day". Swearingen's point was that Intel can do that by getting production up ahead of the announcement to allow those vendors to make that statement, and by implication that's what Motorola's going to do this time round. And, since the announcement takes place in Q3, that would suggest volume shipments in the July timeframe -- right where Motorola originally said it would be. We shall see. Annoucements of announcements, like announcements of products are subject to change, so the onus is now on Motorola to make that Q3 deadline. Still, it's good news for Apple, which presumably won't now have to put its upcoming Power Mac G4 back by six months. Swearingen would not confirm whether Apple would be at the big announcement or not -- or anyone else's attendance, for that matter -- but it would surely be a major disappointment if Apple, as Motorola's prime desktop customer, wasn't there. Still, there's always Amiga... ®

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