Apple Computer Inc., which has used Motorola Inc. microprocessors in most of its Macintosh computers since 1984, plans to switch to a line of next-generation processors that from International Business Machines Corp., according to industry sources.
Unlike today's Windows and Mac desktops, the IBM PowerPC 970 can process data in 64-bit chunks as well as today's standard 32-bit chunks. Sixty-four bit chips, which can address massive amounts of memory, are found mostly in powerful servers.
Apple has stressed that megahertz and gigahertz do not necessarily indicate a machine's performance. Still, the fastest Motorola processor for the Mac, the G4, runs at 1.25 gigahertz; Intel Corp.'s fastest Pentium 4 chip runs at 2.8 gigahertz. It was not immediately clear in which products Apple would use the IBM PowerPC 970 or whether they would be the foundation of an entirely new system. Besides its professional Macs, Apple now sells single-processor iMacs and xServe servers. (International Herald Tribune)
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