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Motorola set to ship 600MHz G4?

So says the rumour-mill, and only a year late...

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Motorola reckons it will be able to ship a 600MHz PowerPC G4 processor by early 2001, if alleged leaks from Apple-Motorola negotiations are to be believed.

If the reports are accurate - they come from MacOS Rumors, so all the usual caveats apply - it will be about time. Motorola was looking at shipping 600MHz PowerPC 7400s - the first-generation G4 - in January 2000, but then stumbled when it found it couldn't get decent yields on chips over 500MHz.

The upcoming 600MHz part is a 0.18 micron PowerPC 7410, Motorola's recently launched chip for the embedded market. Apple is interested because the 7410 consumes less power than the 7400 - a 500MHz 7410 draws the same power as a 400MHz 7400 - making it a better choice for notebooks.

However, there's a snag, and it's yields again. They're low - not as low as before - but sufficiently so to bump up the price by a claimed 15-20 per cent. That may not be an issue if the chips are destined for Apple's PowerBook line, which is pretty expensive anyway, thanks to the cost of LCDs.

Whatever, Apple is desperate for faster G4s, and it may well fell the need to swallow the cost in order to remain competitive with the Wintel world. ®

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