Feeds

PowerPC G4 Plus breaks 1GHz barrier

Trouble is, yields suck, apparently

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Motorola has begun sampling its next-generation PowerPC 74xx processor, aka the G4e or G4 Plus.

According to a "trusted" Motorola source, cited by MacOS Rumors, the company's test runs are producing chips that run over 500MHz, with some even reaching 1050MHz, breaking the gigahertz barrier. Motorola's goal with the G4 Plus is to get the PowerPC 74xx chip to 700MHz and beyond, or so the company said at last autumn's Microprocessor Forum, at which the new chip was unveiled.

Motorola is expected to go into greater detail about the G4 Plus and its successors at this year's Forum, which will take place in October in San Jose. The Forum is usually used to announce processors still some way from completion, so Mac users waiting for single-CPU gigahertz Macs may not see such a machine for some time.

Motorola's main problem at the moment appears to be yield. According to the source, fewer than ten per cent of the chips produced on each silicon wafer operate at 500MHz or above. That sounds bad, but now Motorola has got the chip working, it can focus on improving its production. Besides, it's a given in the semiconductor industry that chips - particularly new, built-from-the-ground-up microprocessors, begin their lives with very low yields.

Indeed, yields are arguably more of an issue for the computer manufacturer than the chip supplier, since yield governs the cost of the part, which is why Intel, for example, didn't do too badly out of the original Pentium despite abysmal yields. Motorola may soon be able to punch out sufficient G4 Plus chips to keep Apple happy, but don't expect the boxes to be cheap.

On this basis, a possible timeframe would see Apple announce a G4 Plus early next year - MacWorld Expo San Francisco? - with a ship date a month or so down the line and volume production by Q2 2001. Fingers crossed, anyway... ®

Related Stories

Where the hell is... the PowerPC 'G4 Plus'?
Apple moots IBM Power 4 as G4 successor?
Motorola speeds PowerPC to compete on clock speed
PPC 500MHz limit forces Apple down dual-CPU route
Motorola's 500MHz G4 yields very low indeed claim sources
Apple announces another G4 order policy
Apple hit by 'PowerPC G4 can't reach 500MHz' bug

For more Apple-related coverage, visit our Mac Channel

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.