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Architosh Staff (info@architosh.com)
23 Oct 2002

23 Oct 2002: Editor's note: It appears that Motorola has taken down the PDF document which contains some of the info spoken about in this report. We have our own copy which we can post if we decide to go that way.

It should be stated that on MacNN's coverage of this story, many posters seem very angry at Moto and even more at Apple for not delivering faster machines in a more timely manner. One must remember that Apple is the sole body responsible for the R&D on their hardware designs, including processor items and architectures. Unlike Intel and AMD, locked in a holy war over clock speed, Moto and IBM are beating to a different drum with their semiconductor business. A question is, will Apple be able to sustain relevance in performance if this drum beat doesn't change? The answer may not be so obvious. The inventions of the future are unknown and the quality of innovation at Apple can never be underestimated. We have added some additional closing remarks in green at the end of page two. -- AFR, Ed.

Details on Motorola G5 Processor Emerge

As we have mentioned in the past, Architosh has been sitting on details of the Motorola G5 processor development, its history and its circumstances for awhile now. Recently with the introduction of the IBM PowerPC 970 (a 64-bit Book-E compliant microprocessor) we were made aware of a PowerPC Motorola document that contains the model numbers for upcoming chips which Apple could use in their computers. The new road map document clearly shows shipping chips versus upcoming and proposed chips.

What's In A Number?

A number of folks who have written in have talked about Motorola PowerPC chips with the following model numbers: MPC75xx, MPC755x, MPC76xx, etc. These numbers would logically follow current Moto processors with the following numbers and MHz range:

Moto Chip MHz Range
MPC7451 (0.18micron) 600-667MHz
MPC7441 (ditto) ditto
MPC7455 (0.18micron) 600-1000Mhz
MPC7445 (ditto) ditto

However, it appears that the projected (or anticipated) model numbers above are partially wrong. A MPC76xx chip is not located on this road map document. Instead, the highest planned Moto G4/G5 chip that appears is the MPC7457-RM. That chip is proposed for a 2004 time frame.

The Next Moto Chip - A G4 Again?

It appears from this road map that the next Motorola "G-something" processor will be a G4, its model number being MPC7457, with a MHz range between 867-1833MHz. This chip is based on a SOI (silicon on insulator), .13micron process and appears planned for sometime in 2003. The MPC7457-RM chip, planned for 2004 is more mysterious and includes RapidIO. This may be the almost mythical Moto G5 chip, code named Eleven. From the road map drawing the MPC7457-RM appears to not have a L3 cache but instead utilizes a RapidIO interconnect to high-speed DDR SDRAM. That would be consistent with the planned Moto G5 chip.

So what is the 1.25Ghz G4 currently in use? After looking at Motorola's site, it appears that that chip is just an overclocked version of the MPC7455. As we asked at the end of this story on IBM's 64-bit PowerPC chip and the evidence of Linux AltiVec support, 'will Motorola have an answer to Apple's processor woes in addition to IBM's answer....and if so when?'

The answer to that appears to be in 2004 at the earliest, at least according to this Moto PDF document. The next processor Apple will likely use will be the Motorola MPC7457 and because it moves to a .13micron process architecturally the chip could see 1.8Hz at the top end. Because Moto never showed documents of the 7455 going up to 1.25Ghz, we believe that the 7457 was originally the chip meant to take Apple over the 1 gigahertz barrier and beyond after the progress on the true G5 chip code named Eleven and Steamroller stalled.

According to information sent to us, the next chip after the 7455 line (Vger Apollo, our current Apple G4 chip) was code named "Steamroller" and was a true G5 chip. However, this was not the G5 chip code named Eleven which we were told was abandoned even though Moto had working units in Apple test boxes. These were the very same test boxes which Architosh reported in late 2001 had processors running up to 2.4GHz and were scary fast.

Next Page: On the Mythical G5 - Code Named Eleven


 

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