IBM Announces Dual-Core G5 Chip

IBM has announced that it will develop a dual-core version of its PowerPC 970FX, the chip that is used in Apple's G5 Power Macs. The initial versions of the processor will run at speeds of 1.4 to 2.5 gigahertz, and are made for smaller, entry-level systems.

Each of the CPU cores will carry a dedicated 1-megabyte L2 cache.

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It is unclear if the chip, which was announced last week in an event at Tokyo, will be used in Apple machines. Steve Jobs did say, however, at WWDC 2005 that Apple had several "exciting" PowerPC-based machines coming before the company switches to Intel processors in 2006 and 2007.

IBM's new chip will also have the capability to conserve energy by adjusting the frequency and voltage of either of the cores, or by going into standby and even shutting off during periods of low processor traffic.

The dual-core processors will consume 13 watts at 1.4 gigahertz, and 16 watts at 1.6 gigahertz. The low power usage could make the chip a potential processor for more powerful PowerBook laptops. However, neither Apple nor IBM would confirm or deny whether Apple was looking into using the new chip.

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