- Architosh Staff ([email protected])
- 4 April 2003
Buzz: IBM Pushes Production at Fabs, pushes up PPC 970
A well regarded and trusted IBM source has shed some light on recent buzz about pushed up schedules for new Power Macs. According to our source, IBM is under increased pressure to ramp up production at new microprocessor fabrication plants in order to make way for new contracts. In the last six months IBM has announced significant new partnerships and contracts, including a major new partnership with Nvidia.
IBM's New Foundry Business Plan: Moving Ahead
IBM's strategic thinking with its microelectronics business has been shifting in recent years. Due to the high cost of manufacturing leading edge fabs, most semiconductor manufacturers are moving toward partnerships and consolidation, leaving two major US companies at the leading edge of fab ownership: IBM and Intel. The rest of the chip manufacturing business is done overseas by Taiwanese foundries like TSMC and UMC.
Our source indicates IBM must take advantage of its new fabrication resources by producing new PowerPC 970 microprocessors sooner than expected. Apparently the chip is ahead of schedule, as has been reported elsewhere on the Web. Why wait to make the chips later when you have brand new fabs and brand new contracts?
New 300mm Fab: State of the Art
The PowerPC 970 and future 980 will be produced at IBM's new state-of-the Art $2.5 billion, 300mm facility. This is the same facility where Nvidia's new chips will be made. What IBM is experiencing with foundry wafer demand is something on the level of 25 percent annual growth over the next five years, according to a report by Semico Research Corporation.
This is good new for Macintosh users. They may get their 64-bit Power Macs sooner than expected and down the road Apple's new favorite chip maker may well become the all-out leader in microprocessor manufacturing...which is a far cry from where Apple has been positioned with Motorola for the last few years.
IBM Slashes wafer prices in aggressive chip attack
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