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Motorola names PowerPC G5 the 8500

Tightens focus on embedded market, away from desktop

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The next generation of Motorola's PowerPC processor, codenamed G5, will be officially known as the 8500 and not the 7500, as originally planned.

It's a sign that Motorola is turning its sights even further away from the desktop market - represented by the '7' in its chip nomenclature - to the embedded arena - which is essentially what the '8' indicates.

So too is Motorola's move to shift PowerPC into its Smart Networks initiative, its edge-to-edge network applications platform.

The G5's official name comes from Motorola's latest PowerPC roadmap. It adds little to previous roadmaps, but we note that the G5 description now has symmetric processing capabilities, Rapid IO support and will be fabbed using silicon-on-insulator technology at 0.13 micron. That's in addition to past roadmaps' mention of the G5's extensible architecture, new pipeline (essential for the clock speeds Motorola has in mind), new bus topology and its split into 32-bit and 64-bit product lines.

Where once the G5's clock speed was simply "2GHz+", we now have "800MHz - 2GHz+", suggesting Motorola may have scaled back its expectations a little. Particularly since the G4 is still listed as "1GHz+" - a speed it's still some way off (outside Apple's labs, at least).

Apple or Motorola staffers can tell us more here. ®

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