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G5

Microprocessor used in Apple Macintosh computers

The G5 was publicly announced in June 2003 by Apple Computer. G5, a marketing moniker, is Apple's term for the processor called PowerPC 970, manufactured by IBM. It's a true 64-bit design (with full backward compatibility for 32-bit code without rebooting) and initial models of Apple's Power Macintosh incorporate chips running at speeds of 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 GHz. The G5 can communicate through its frontside bus at up to half its internal clock speed; a 2 GHz G5 thus has a 1 GHz frontside bus. The technology behind the IBM PowerPC 970 (based on IBM's POWER4 design paired with a 128-bit, 162-instruction SIMD unit for Apple's use) and that of the Power Macintosh G5 is cutting edge for a desktop system as of its introduction.

Steve Jobs announced that chips running at speeds of 3.0 GHz will be available within a year.

The "G" series has had a long life from Apple - the (Motorola) G3 announced used in the original iMac at 233Mhz in 1998 is still in use in 2003 at speeds up to 900Mhz in iBooks, with speeds forecasted on the horizon up to 2Ghz! With this in mind, and the move that Apple is making to 64-bit hardware leads that the G5 will have a long future ahead of it.

Apparently work has been started at IBM on the POWER5 processor series but no official word has been made on what the project's goals are.



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