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[News] Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola?ANN.lu
Posted on 28-Jun-2001 16:32 GMT by Christian Kemp50 comments
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An anonymous person writes: Quote from an article on Mac OS Rumors website from someone claiming to be an Apple employee: "Apple has the option in 2002 of buying the entire Power PC assets from motorola for $500 million." It mainly describes Apples (possible) future strategy regarding PPC and MacOS X respectively, and has some "nice" words about intel processors. Full posting:
I [work] at Apple Computer's corporate campus. [....deleted....] I was frankly quite upset by [Monday]'s posting, which consisted of a number of statements that are clearly false and misleading to Apple shareholders and consumers alike. I am taking considerable risk regarding my employment by offering a rebuttal.

First, allegations that Motorola's commitment to the 7460 aka Apollo have ended are ludicrous in the extreme. The Apollo is still very much a priority, and its development is imperative to ensure the future success of Apple's consumer lines. This chip will not be used in any professional desktops, and is slated to be released concurrently with the G5 codenamed goldfish. The 7460 is aimed at portables and consumer desktops.

Second, the contention that the 7450 is not MERSI compliant is utterly false. It is however true that there is no incentive to produce multi-processor configurations with a large number of processors because the cost cannot be justified in light of the impending release of the G5.

Third, Apple has invested 50 million dollars in developing a .10 micron lithography process for future PowerPC processors last year. Apple has also contributed a large amount of engineering staff to the project, and in fact, much of the design work on the G5 is being done in Building 2 of the Cupertino R&D campus, rather than at Motorola's Austin Texas facilities. This is the only reason the 733Mhz G4 was able to ship, and it was through much saber rattling on Steve Job's part with Motorola. This is in light of the fact that Motorola has been laggard in their Power PC commitment. Apple has the option in 2002 of buying the entire Power PC assets from motorola for $500 million.

Fourth, progress on the G5 has been good to date. It is true that incomplete sample units have been produced. Initially, they were only stable to 833 Mhz, but are now remaining stable at 1.33 GHz. We just received samples of 1.5 and 1.6GHz parts today, but their stability remains to be seen. The G5 is expected to be "taped out" come September or October, with volume production expected to ramp up late this year in order to have systems ready for release at the january Macworld show. Steve Jobs has repeatedly stated that Apple's continued success is imperative on the timely release of the G5.

Fifth, Apple has several contingency plans regarding future hardware, with IBM being the first solution. MacOSX has compiled successfully on three different RISC architectures of which I will not name. It has also been attempted on Intel processors, but it is very unstable because of the Intel architecture's legacy architecture, making them the most computationally ineffecient processors period. Apple will likely not pursue OSX on Intel for fear of the risk of cannibalizing its hardware sales, and from fear of retaliation from Microsoft.

Sixth, because of cost issues, only one G4 multi-processor configuration will be introduced at Macworld. The upside is that recent yields are good on G4 processors greater than 733Mhz, with 5-6 chips per wafer testing at 1GHz. The most likely things that may happen: 733MHz may become the bottom end, with 800Mhz and 933 available now, and 1GHz ship come Seybold [in September].

Last, Apple is turning its focus to IBM to develop the G6 processor and beyond, of which Motorola has not yet committed to, and may not ever. IBM on the other hand has committed to using its most advanced technologies to future PowerPC generations.

Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 1 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz on 27-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
I just hopped over here to post this, but of course I've been beaten; I'd seen the commentary over at The Register:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/39/20038.html
These are nothing but naughty rumors, of course, but it's interesting to consider what an Apple purchase could mean. OS4.x has hitched a ride on PPC, so it figures we get to gear up for some sort of shakedown... :)
The most obvious question here is what a purchase would mean for IBM's half of the deal, and I don't know a thing about that- anyone else want to chime in and explain whether this impacts IBM's operations, beyond that they might have to cooperate with Apple instead of Motorola?
Anyhow, what follows is my quick take on what this could mean, from our PoV..
The upshot is obvious- faster chips. This may be a limiting factor for EyeTech, though; it'd take a bit of redesign to ramp up an AmigaOnePointOhOne with support for, say, DDR SDRAM and, perhaps, higher bus speeds and the like. The worst of this seeming godsend would have us left in the dust for some reason; we know the first-gen AmigaOne is meant to be a balanced system, not a raw-numbers speed demon, but it'll be a sad day if an iMac proves to undeniably smoke it. I seem to remember hearing some ~200-~300MHz numbers a long time back; haven't read the AmigaOne board much if at all, but I assume we'll be seeing something roughly state-of-the-affordable-art on the standard package...?
Now, on the downside, Apple is Apple, and Jobs has issues. ;) Chips are chips, but does anyone else see a chance for Apple to try to tighten the noose on other PC platforms using PPC chips? There aren't many others out there, to my knowledge, and it's doubtful that Apple has their eyes on Amiga in particular, but I can somehow imagine price hikes on chips suitable for desktop systems... For one, the Mac was always envisioned as a closed-box system, so putting the hurt on Mac acellerator sales could conceivably drive upgrades (and Jobs has made Macs into fashion accessories, albeit- as he found with the Cube- borgeois ones; viz the "Annoying Guy" iBook ads... you just aren't *cool* unless you have the latest design, in the latest casing), and for another, it'd certainly derail any chance of Mac cloning... However, there's always the vague chance Apple *does* want to move on to selling software; in some sense, the Cube seemed to be a play at that option, wherein Apple could move on to selling only a few models of 'luxury hardware,' and perhaps open up to letting others run their OS on uglier, more proletarian systems? It's rather confusing, and it may simply be that Jobs was-and-is painting himself further into a corner, market-wise. The overall fear here is that Apple is embrace-and-destroy to Microsoft's embrace-and-extend; they have a good track record for shooting themselves in the foot. I'd bet they'd make more money selling cheap, fast PPCs to all comers (and potentially embrace some of these comers with OS X ports, ne? Heck, maybe that explains the plan, and they *aren't* going to shoot themselves in the foot..), but there's always that chance they'll smother the bonfire for everyone else, and eventually themselves.
One truly bizarre possibility would be that, if this deal does go through, Apple may take stock of PPC customers, notice an Amiga market presence (there won't be that many AmigaOne 1200s, Pegasosen, Matay and Merlancia systems sold at first, but then again, how many boxes does Apple ship? We just might be visible as a minority, by then..), take a notice to Amiga's general plan, and consider opening their specs wide enough to bring the DE onboard OS X- or just as likely, snub Amiga more prominently in some way, giving us some free PR. (Apple beating up on someone always makes news..) :)
All speculation. All insane. Even if it happens, it might just be business as usual... but it's something to think about, if you're bored as I am... :)
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 2 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 27-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
So obviously a hoax.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 3 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by gary_c on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
Apple buying Motorola's PPC works seems very unlikely. This is the bread
and butter of Motorola's semiconductor business and it doesn't seem likely
that Motorola would part with it. Remember that Apple only gets one part of
this output; a lot of PPC chips go into embedded applications, though I don't
have the percentage breakdown on hand. It could be that Motorola hasn't ramped
up PPC speeds as fast as Apple would like for the very reason that Apple isn't
all that important a customer, in view of the bigger PPC chip market. Of course
this could be a motivation for Apple to buy these operations, but the negatives
of trying to manage in the notoriously chaotic semiconducter business probably
outweigh any advantages of producing the chips in-house. (And US$500 million
seems way too low for this kind of deal IMHO.)
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 4 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Graham on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (gary_c):
I agree that it is unlikely that Apple will buy PPC from Motorola, however they might buy a long-term $500m up front deal to get good chips developed faster with a lot more Apple involvement. This would be similar to their deal with a TFT manufacturer that gave Apple the choicest of TFTs recently for decent prices.
It appears that my March to June next year, there will be 1.5GHz+ G5 processors, which will most likely smoke a 2GHz P4. The price differential will be the interesting thing though. However, if Apple 'own' the top end PowerPC market, then they can have the chips for cost price, instead of Motorolas price, which will help them a lot.
So, expect the iMac to go to G4 within the next 2 - 4 months, and the PowerMac to move up to 733MHz - 1GHz in the same time period. This could cause the price of G3 modules to drop if we are lucky.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 5 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Anon User on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
All this has got to be a hoax.
Motorola and IBM both make chips based on the PowerPC architecture. I can't believe that Apple couldn't just dump Motorola purchases and purchase from IBM. I can't see Apple kicking out $500 million to buy Motorola's PPC.
IBM appears to have had some very good announcements on chip making as of recent. I think their 210Ghz transistor using 1 milliamp announcement was pretty good - http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1004-200-6355782.html?tag=mn_hd
Apple developed a .10micron lithography process? I suppose it's possible that occurred. However, you'd think with IBM being part of the PPC team that they could have pulled in some of the small micron process that IBM's doing.
Contingency plans on other processors? Hopefully, it's AMD Sledgehammer.
"fear of retaliation from Microsoft" What's this.. Am I confused but I thought Microsoft owned 30% or better of Apple stock(company). Microsoft needs Apple alive so they are looking like they are playing fair in the desktop marketplace. Even if they own a decent % of a "competitor". What would happen if Microsoft threatened Apple and said we're dumping all our stock. I'd think the Apple stock prices would plummet in response.
"Last, Apple is turning its focus to IBM to develop the G6 processor and beyond" - This sounds the most reasonable out of the whole article to me.
How this relates to our beloved Amiga I know not.... Thus, instead of talking Apple let's talk Amiga....
Dear Amiga, Inc.
Here's what I'd like to see in the AmigaTWO.
1)Fast processor
PPC G5 or AMD Sledgehammer would be my first 2 selections
2)nVidia nForce
3)nVidia nCrush
4)AGP 6x
5)ieee 1394
6)64/32 bit PCI slots
7)
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 6 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Andrea Maniero on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 5 (Anon User):
Do you really believe that it is possible that Apple developed a .10um litography investing $50 millions? IMHO the whole article is a hoax! Developing a new litographic process easily costs 10 times what the article claimed. So it could eventually have happened that Apple 'helped' IBM in developing this. But again, those kind of news wouldn't be spread by an employee, but they would be advertised at least through a press release.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 7 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by m0ns00n on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 6 (Andrea Maniero):
Hoax, moax, doax, loax! Gjimm gjimm oink oink :P
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 8 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 5 (Anon User):
The nForce chipset is not compatible with the PPC bus. I doubt nVidia will be able adapt it's nForce chipset to work with the Sledgehammer, as it's a completely different processor. Most likely we will see a new chipset for that CPU.
AGP 6x will never exist, but Intel has plans for AGP 8x, will probably emerge sometime next year.
I'd rather go with USB 2.0 instead of IEEE1394 (Firewire) as it will probably achieve standardization a lot faster.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 9 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Merlancia Industries on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
The thought is rather scary..gives me shivers, as an OEM...We can't forget that IBM is a lart of the prject too, and nothing is mentioned about them..they also manufacture and design PowerPC processors- for the consumer and industrial market. We are however concerned about the imbedded market for PPC as well,a dn the thought simply gives me shivers...brrrr.
Cheers,
Ryan E. A. Czerwinski
Merlancia Industries
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 10 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Richie on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
AmigaOS needs to be ported to x86 architecture.
Regards,
Richie
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 11 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Ralph on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Anonymous):
Uaaaah - USB 2.0 instead of FireWire? FireWire already _IS_ a widespread standard
in consumer electronics and it begins to spread more and more in the computer industry.
It is fast, convenient, flexible, really standardized and has well-thought protocols.
USB 1.0 is still quite ugly (e.g. you need a dedicated driver for each device, whereas
Firewire just works out of the box without any additional driver) and i guess USB will
not be much more than its predecessor, except for a little more speed (which might be slightly
faster than todays FireWire, but IEEE-1394b is already in the pipeline with 5 times the
speed of todays FireWire IIRC).
Please - leave USB for keyboards, Mice and those small-bandwidth devices (USB-scanner already
are a wrong way of evolution). I would always prefer FireWire over a USB 2 solution - anytime!
The price difference is not big, if at all noticeable and will drop even further with FireWire
devices gaining more and more ground.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 12 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Mark Olsen on 28-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 10 (Richie):
Sure, you go backwards and use a crappy architecture, while the rest of us moves forward.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 13 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Mark Olsen):
Oh come off it. Hardware is irrelevant, but confining your product to a very minor piece of closed-hardware that nobody owns is very stupid. I want to run AmigaOS4+ on the same machine that I run my Windows apps & games, Linux, BeOS. I have no intention of maintaining 2 computer systems.
Modern Pentiums can emulate the fastest G4 much faster than the fastest G4 can run itself, and the Pentium is advancing at a much faster rate than the PPC so this will only get better.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 14 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Richie on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Mark Olsen):
Motorola already cut off AMIGA's left foot, why offer the right.
It sure would be nice to have a 800mhz 68080 right now.
Then OS wouldn't need to be ported.
The x86 architecture is fast enough to run an emulated Amiga now.
Regards,
Richie
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 15 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Solar (BAUD) on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 13 (Anonymous):
Todayīs Pentiums are *not* able to emulate PPC CPUs at a pace even close to the original. Wishful thinking.
However, itīs also true that this "G4 twice as fast as Pentium" is only true for some few, very limited parts of everyday CPU work.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 16 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Mark Olsen on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 14 (Richie):
The 68k is old, not as old as the x86, but it's old. The older the CPU gets, the more expensive the R&D gets.
The x86 is EXTREMELY expensive to develop further, and it's just getting more kludged for every generation that goes.
It's many times larger than a PPC, it produces many times as much heat, the powerconsumption...
Motorola can, even with their limited R&D money compared to Intel, keep the PPC CPU in the front of the race, because the PPC is a nicer, cleaner architecture.
There's no way I want an 8-bit CPU from 1970 to run AmigaOS. That would be stupid.
Oh, and the x86 is little endian, good luck with getting all the current programs to run on it without emulation.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 17 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Mark Olsen on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 13 (Anonymous):
Hardware is anything but irrelevant.
If you really believe so, why do you care which CPU will be used?
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 18 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Gabriele Svelto on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 15 (Solar (BAUD)):
It's not true that PPC are faster than Pentiums only in some tasks, the
architecture is faster under every aspect, especially multi-tasking. PPCs
offer much better parallelism than Pentiums and don't depend on fast
memories as Pentium do, plus the flexibility of PPC's MMUs make them
much faster in a multi-tasking environment, on a Pentium CPU (and yes, even
on an Itanium) context switching between two tasks mean flushing the cache
(this do not happen on PPCs), imagine flushing 256KB L2 caches 1000 times a
sec... That's throwing cycles out of the window, BTW that's why x86s and
even Itaniums cannot have large L2 (or L3) caches. I mean, 21264A Alphas can
have up to 8MB of L2 cache and R12000 MIPS up to 16MB, compare it with the
pathetic 256KBs of Pentiums... BTW G4 where limited too but this is getting
better (7450 support up to 2MB of L3 cache which is pretty good).
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 19 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 16 (Mark Olsen):
>The 68k is old, not as old as the x86, but it's old. The older the CPU gets, >the more expensive the R&D gets.
>
>The x86 is EXTREMELY expensive to develop further, and it's just getting more >kludged for every generation that goes.
This is completely untrue. Do you anything about microelectronics development?
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 20 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 16 (Mark Olsen):
>There's no way I want an 8-bit CPU from 1970 to run AmigaOS. That would be >stupid.
The modern x86s aren't 8-bit. What are you on about?!! I think you're just a troll, you don't seem to know what you're talking about.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 21 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 17 (Mark Olsen):
>Hardware is anything but irrelevant.
>
>If you really believe so, why do you care which CPU will be used?
The x86 is cheap, fast and getting faster very quickly. It's widely available and runs more existing operating systems than anything else. If any of these things were true of the PPC then I'd reccommend Amiga use that... but none of them are!
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 22 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Mark Olsen on 29-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 20 (Anonymous):
No, they are a 32-bit extension, to a 16-bit extension to an 8-bit CPU.
I thought you would understand that first time.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 23 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by atheist on 30-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
I wrote a comment on June 21, 2001, in the poll question, will you still be following Amiga news in 2002? It's similar to this, asking why we don't buy the manufacturing rights to the 68060 and get AMD to make a 1000 MHz version of it. After all, AMD wouldn't feel threatend by making the chip, market share wise against the CPU's it's producing. And how about really fast AGA ... 714 MHz.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 24 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Alex Roulle on 30-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 22 (Mark Olsen):
>No, they are a 32-bit extension, to a 16-bit extension to an 8-bit CPU.
>I thought you would understand that first time.
You could apply the same logic to the "32-bit" '060 which must be a "kludged" "extension" of the 16-bit 68000.
But you'd be wrong, the Pentiums have no relation to the earlier models apart from a similar instruction set. In fact, the Pentium I, II and 4 were completely redesigned from the ground up. They are completely different.
Same interface, different implementation. Look up polymorphism in a good textbook.
I really don't understand your loyalty to Motorola, they have done nothing for us.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 25 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Keith_Blakemore-Noble on 30-Jun-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (Alex Roulle):
"You could apply the same logic to the "32-bit" '060 which must be a "kludged" "extension" of the 16-bit 68000."
Erm, no you couldn't, because right from the 68000, ALL members of the 68k
family are 32-bit.
The 68000 is most definitly NOT 16-bit.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 26 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Richie on 01-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 25 (Keith_Blakemore-Noble):
Well, even so Motorola has done nothing for the amiga.
Except sell very expensive chips to the users.
Motorola hasn't done much for motorola either.
I was in a motorola office in phoenix back in 1990.
Almost all the computers there were pc clones!
One 030 mac. I told them I had an amiga and was
basically laughed at.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 27 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 01-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 11 (Ralph):
Well, maybe you're right, I dunno. I can't see that Firewire has been -that- successful over USB in the later years, but that's probably because of Intel and M$ pushing USB on the PC platform. But if I can succeed in the same degree, I welcome Firewire.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 28 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Andrea Maniero on 01-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 25 (Keith_Blakemore-Noble):
MC 68000 are 16 bit cpus because theur bus is 16 bit wide, and that's the way we usually compute this number, although some press departments tend to go for other ways. So the 68000 can read only 16 bits from the memory per clock cycle, although it can process 32 bits of data in one shot once they have been read. It is a 16 bit CPU that is internally 32bit-wide.
And it is true that pentiums are REALLY different from their predecessors, since they are internally RISC CPUs with an hardware interface that translates x86 instructions into some microcode that is understood by the kernel of the chip itself.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 29 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Ian Otter on 01-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 10 (Richie):
I aggree that the Amiga OS needs to be ported to X86. PowerPC might be a good processor but is is expenisive. Intel and AMD`s are ten a penny. Also X86 is allways under the drawing board for faster/cooler/cheaper designs. The PowerPC juts dos`nt sell enough to compete. We need the miggy on standard, cheap and AVAILABLE hardware
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 30 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by A_B_X86 on 02-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
Perhaps when DE and Amiga OS merge (OS 5.X?) we can run on X86
(though hosted - not sure about running native on X86). Even if it
makes little economic or business sense, I like the Amiga having
it's own hardware - it seperates us from the rest of the computer
using "herd".
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 31 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Alex Roulle on 02-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 29 (Ian Otter):
I agree.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 32 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Solar (BAUD) on 03-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
Itīs always funny to see how facts get mixed up.
- The 68000 is a 16/32 bit hybrid. Itīs external bus is 16 bit, itīs registers are 32 bit. This leads to some funny opcodes. The 68000 is *not* a "true" 32 bit CPU.
- Clocking the 68060 at 1 GHz, or even continuing the 68k CPU line, is nonsense. See the poll thread for technical details I wonīt repeat here.
- Current x86 CPUs are most certainly 32 bit.
- The PPC does *not* exceed current x86 CPUs in all respects, not by a long shot. I will dig up some benchmarks if required.
- While the PPC might be "cleaner" in design, it is less available. Apple is about the only company producing boards for it, and they are undocumented as well as expensive.
Now some opinions:
- If we want to target a broad audience, running on x86 (which means "too", not "exclusively") is a must - after all thatīs at least 90% of all home systems, and about 99% of all office systems.
- Having a custom hardware is nice only if this hardware offers something that stock systems doesnīt. I canīt see any Amiga-related development offering anything (performance wise) that exceeds your average off-the-shelf PC/Mac today.
- If someone doesnīt own AmigaOS PPC software, why should he pay 1000$+ for a second system (in addition to his PC/Mac), that only runs Linux (which he can already use on his current system) and an OS that only runs pathetic attempts of software, compared to what heīs used to? He *might* be interested in a 50$ RTE, or a 100$ SDK. But sure as hell he wonīt pay 1000$ "just for trying it out".
And please, *please*, could somebody PLEASE confirm that AmigaOS 5.0 will run on x86? AmigaDE runs on x86, but is for embedded systems. AmigaOS4.x will run on PPC only. With OS5, DE is "merged into AmigaOS", but that does not imply that OS5.x will inherit DEīs hardware independance...?
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 33 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Atheist on 03-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
Well, if it's ported, what we need is a computer with a catweasel built in so that our beloved old software can be read off of our 880K copy protected disks. Then, what is necessary, is kickstart and OS 1.3 to 3.x and 4.x compatability. The best thing would be for them to pick the Pen.IV, and code it in assembler, and make it boot natively. No windows, no ms-dos, no linux, just our own code, period, like what AROS is supposed to be, I think. Except, they're not coding in assembly. The Geforce 3 chip is programable. Perhaps it could be made to imitate the Denise. The default sound card supported should be sound blaster.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 34 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Solar (BAUD) on 03-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 33 (Atheist):
Atheist, your ideas continue to amaze me.
> Well, if it's ported, what we need is a computer with a catweasel
> built in so that our beloved old software can be read off of our
> 880K copy protected disks.
Software that old is best run on your existing Amiga hardware. Those
who donīt have old Amiga hardware anymore probably arenīt interested
in this software anyway. (MacOS X doesnīt come with a Lisa emulator
build in, either.)
> Then, what is necessary, is kickstart and OS 1.3 to 3.x and 4.x
> compatability.
Kickstart? I hope future systems wonīt need ROM chips... Iīd daresay,
a functional OS3.x emulation should suffice, for the reasons mentioned
above.
> The best thing would be for them to pick the Pen.IV, and code it
> in assembler
Iīll try to say this friendly: This is not a good idea.
The PIV architecture requires the compiler to make extensive optimisations
of the code, or the PIV functions at a fraction of itīs theoretical
performance. (Thatīs why the PIV, even when clocked much higher than the
Athlon, usually shows less performance than itīs AMD counterpart when
running old - unoptimized - software. But when running optimized software,
e.g. the Windows Media Encoder (not sure about that name), the PIV
absolutely soars.) (Even PIII and Athlon CPUs require such optimisations,
but not to that extend.)
Writing everything in Assembler would require the coder
1) to make all the optimizations himself (in two versions, one for PIV,
one for Athlon)
2) write everything again when PV and Athlon II appear, because the rules
of optimisation change.
Today, writing in Assembler (other than VP) makes little to no sense.
Up-to-date compilers usually do a better job than the average ASM coder.
> and make it boot natively. No windows, no ms-dos, no linux, just
> our own code, period, like what AROS is supposed to be, I think.
> Except, they're not coding in assembly.
Which is A Good Thing (tm).
> The Geforce 3 chip is programable. Perhaps it could be made to
> imitate the Denise.
Who the **** cares for the Denise? I didnīt use the chipset ever
since I got my first gfx board (apart from playing Worms...)...?!?
> The default sound card supported should be sound blaster.
So everybody hits the hardware, and when the next generation of sound
cards appears, all old software is useless.
Atheist, you live in the hardware-hitting, assembler-coding world of
the 1980ies. This is the 21st century, you know?
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 35 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Solar (BAUD) on 04-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
I have to revoke a statement I made earlier. Recent communication with Gary Peake (Director Developer Support, Amiga Inc.) indicates that AmigaOS 5.x *will* be CPU / hardware independant - as opposed to what I said earlier, and as not too obvious from the Technical Update at www.amiga.com. It remains to be seen how official this is - "nothing is true until you read it from www.amiga.com"...
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 36 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by victor # on 06-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 32 (Solar (BAUD)):
> Itīs always funny to see how facts get mixed up.
Yes, indeed..
> - The 68000 is a 16/32 bit hybrid. Itīs external bus is 16 bit, itīs registers
> are 32 bit. This leads to some funny opcodes. The 68000 is *not* a "true" 32
> bit CPU.
The loading and storing of 32 bit words are handled automatically by the core. The code is a clean 32 bit code. (But you can also process 16 or 8 bit data as well.) So, there is no "funny opcodes" for that. A 68020 and up runs the same code, and has a true 32 bit bus.
> - Current x86 CPUs are most certainly 32 bit.
As well as current 68k CPU's.
Not that it matters now, just, you know, the facts...
> - The PPC does *not* exceed current x86 CPUs in all respects, not by a long
> shot. I will dig up some benchmarks if required.
Would you, please, show me an Altivec vs. MMX/3DNow!/etc. benchmark? I'm really interested.
> - While the PPC might be "cleaner" in design, it is less available. Apple is
> about the only company producing boards for it, and they are undocumented as
> well as expensive.
I think there is enough of it to supply the A1's... And the moderate speed CPU cards are nothing but expensive.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 37 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by victor # on 07-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 32 (Solar (BAUD)):
> Apple is about the only company producing boards for it
No, there are others, too. F.ex. Sonnet Tech.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 38 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Solar (BAUD) on 09-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 36 (victor #):
OK, although I promised not to post to this thread anymore...
From geek.com:
G4 7400 @ 450 MHz: SPECint 21,4 - SPECfp 20,4
PIII @ 450 MHz: SPECint 18,7 - SPECfp 13,7
PIII @ 600 MHz: SPECint 24,0 - SPECfp 15,9
PIII @ 733 MHz: SPECint 32,8 - SPECfp 19,5
Two observations:
- the G4 has more speed per MHz than the PIII
- the PIII @ 600 MHz has more SPECint than the G4 @ 450 MHz
Add to this two related facts:
- the PIII is available at higher clock speeds than the G4, IIRC.
- the PIV and the Athlon (both more advanced than the PIII) are available,
the G5 is not.
I think this proves that the G4 does not beat the x86 in all respects, as was my original point.
And add to this price/performance ratio and the fact that you can get x86 everywhere.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 39 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by victor # on 09-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 38 (Solar (BAUD)):
These are good points, but:
- AIK, the 7400 is a "1st generation" G4. There are "2nd generation" ones, and soon "3rd generation" ones. (AIK, these differ not only in the clock speed.)
- AFAIK, the Altivec unit beats the x86 counterparts even on significantly higher clock-speeds. (I asked for these benchmarks, if even exists.)
- (BTW, nice to see also the G4's FPU @450MHz beats the P3's @733MHz..)
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 40 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Solar (BAUD) on 10-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 39 (victor #):
> - AIK, the 7400 is a "1st generation" G4. There are "2nd generation"
> ones, and soon "3rd generation" ones. (AIK, these differ not only in
> the clock speed.)
No SPEC values were available for later generations (being the 7410 Nitro
and 7450 Voyager). While x86 systems are SPECed early and often, the 7400
is the only PPC with SPEC values given.
> - AFAIK, the Altivec unit beats the x86 counterparts even on significantly
> higher clock-speeds. (I asked for these benchmarks, if even exists.)
This is correct, the Altivec unit is more powerful than SSE or SSE2. But
only a fraction of applications can make use of Altivec at all (being targeted
at SIMD / FP operations); and not all that could make use of it actually do
so.
For Amiga, Iīd daresay that generic VP code translated run-time cannot use
the Altivec unit at all. Iīm not sure about PPC-specific code (.13?), but I
seriously doubt so. How many out there can actually hand-code Altivec opcodes?
> - (BTW, nice to see also the G4's FPU @450MHz beats the P3's @733MHz..)
Yes, FP-wise the G4 is very advanced. The IA-64 architecture makes big
steps in this direction, however. And the SPEC is only one benchmark. There
are others, and as my original point says, the PPC does *not* beat the x86
architecture in all of them. I hadnīt the time yesterday, but I know cīt
has published real-world benchmarks some months ago. Iīll try to find them.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 41 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by victor # on 10-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 40 (Solar (BAUD)):
> For Amiga, Iīd daresay that generic VP code translated run-time cannot use
> the Altivec unit at all. Iīm not sure about PPC-specific code (.13?), but I
> seriously doubt so.
Probably not. At last, not yet. It wouldn't be even easy to implement it. Though, as you said, and AIK, too, generic code wouldn't really benefit from it. But, there is a better way to use it. To assemble specific 'tools' with a given API for the most used CPU's, natively utilizing available CPU-specialities. (BTW, what do you mean by ".13?"?)
> How many out there can actually hand-code Altivec opcodes?
I think Amiga programmers was always be willing and also good in optimizing by hand. I have no doubts they will take out from it just what's possible.. (Indeed regarding the Amiga*OS*.)
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 42 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Solar (BAUD) on 11-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 41 (victor #):
> But, there is a better way to use it. To assemble specific 'tools' with
> a given API for the most used CPU's, natively utilizing available CPU-
> specialities. (BTW, what do you mean by ".13?"?)
*rotfl*
Generic VP code is ending in <toolname>.00. Natively compiled code is ending with a different number, which reflects the CPU type it has been compiled
for. I think itīs <toolname>.13 for PPC, hence the "?".
So, yes, I know there is this option. But unless a specific number for Altivec
PPCs shows up in the list of supported CPUs, you cannot access the Altivec
unit even if you have a native tool. AFAIK, until now there is no such number.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 43 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 11-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 38 (Solar (BAUD)):
But these benchmarks don't take into consideratio the Altivec unit? If it did use it, the FPU benchmarks would be very fast right?
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 44 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by victor # on 11-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 42 (Solar (BAUD)):
> But unless a specific number for Altivec PPCs shows up in the list of
> supported CPUs, you cannot access the Altivec unit even if you have a
> native tool.
Hmm. Are you sure not the .13(?) tools will still be called then? (And the tool itself will check for the Altivec unit [or a system flag], and execute code written for it.) Anyway, this is just a detail.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 45 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Ian Otter on 12-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
All this "geek" talk shows why we need X86 and not anything else. PowerPC’s are expensive, unsupported and slow/Ģ. Joe public doesn’t have a clue which processor is slightly faster in some routines. They and myself want something available from any computer shop, which is cheap, fast and STANDARD. Amiga OS needs to be ported over to X86 for us to have any chance at grabbing any market share. Perhaps it`s all to late anyway. This should of been done years ago.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 46 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Solar (BAUD) on 12-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
@ Anonymous:
> But these benchmarks don't take into consideratio the Altivec unit?
> If it did use it, the FPU benchmarks would be very fast right?
Usually cross-CPU benchmarks are generic source code, you can compile
it with your favourite compiler. You should think that Apple would use
a compiler that uses the Altivec where possible when compiling a
benchmark. (And BTW, you might notice that the FPU performance of the
G4 *is* noticably faster than the Pentium III / IV.)
But again, the Altivec isnīt simply a super-fast FPU. It is a SIMD unit
(single instruction, multiple data) constructed e.g. for doing matrix
calculations etc.. But how much of your everyday work is SIMD, or even
FPU? For years Amiga users lived happily without an FPU at all, so I
donīt really understand what all the hype about the Altivec is all about.
You might profit from it if your gameīs 3D engine is especially written
for it. You might profit from it if your rendering engine uses it. But
it doesnīt help you a bit in your spreadsheet, or your database.
@victor:
>> But unless a specific number for Altivec PPCs shows up in the list of
>> supported CPUs, you cannot access the Altivec unit even if you have a
>> native tool.
> Hmm. Are you sure not the .13(?) tools will still be called then?
> (And the tool itself will check for the Altivec unit [or a system flag],
> and execute code written for it.) Anyway, this is just a detail.
Not sure what you mean here. The .13 tool (or whatever) must be able
to execute on non-Altivec PPCs too; so the best you can hope for are
mixed / fat binaries combining Altivec and non-Altivec code. But since
the gcc doesnīt cater for the Altivec unit (and Taoīs VP code generator
is based on the gcc), youīd have to hand-craft such a binary.
Reply to this comment | Top
@ Ian:
> All this "geek" talk shows why we need X86 and not anything else.
Wrong. As "just another x86 OS", weīd have to stand up against Windows,
MacOS and Linux, one-on-one, and as such would be compared with them in
features, one-on-one. If you arenīt red-and-white blind, you will realize
what this would mean. IMNSO, the hardware independance is the ace up the
sleeve. Without that - look at BeOS...
> PowerPC’s are expensive, unsupported and slow/Ģ.
Not necessarily so. *If* you have a FPU intensive application (like a
rendering farm), and *if* your application can utilize the Altivec, PPCs
are well worth their price. Even without the Altivec, PPC FPUs are a nice
piece of silicium.
Moreover, PPC CPUs exceed in the high-end embedded sector, because of their
superior speed / heat ratio.
> Joe public doesn’t have a clue which processor is slightly faster in some
> routines. They and myself want something available from any computer shop,
> which is cheap, fast and STANDARD.
You are right. But what made the x86 standard? Windows did, because all the
others were "incompatible". If we take a (really optimistic) look into the
distant future, say, 30 years ahead - why shouldnīt a briliantly successful
AmigaOS made *all* available CPU families "standard", because none of them
is "incompatible" - just more or less suited for the job at hand?
Amiga was always about looking further ahead than the next dent in the road.
Perhaps, this time they get it right. But surely not by concentrating on a
single CPU family.
> Amiga OS needs to be ported over to X86 for us to have any chance at
> grabbing any market share.
From whom? You want games, take Windows. You want apps, take Windows. You
want a server, take Linux. You want a cheap dev environment, take Linux.
AmigaOS / x86, what for?
> Perhaps it`s all to late anyway. This should of been done years ago.
I agree.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 47 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by victor # on 12-Jul-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 46 (Solar (BAUD)):
It can be solved by mixed binary tools, or easier: a non-Altivec tool calls/redirects to an Altivec-specific one. Yes, at least until there will be an (efficient) VP-translator for Altivec (if ever), or some compiler, it should be coded by hand. Now what? The most CPU-intensive routines of games, video/audio-players, etc. for long still frequently be hand-coded in assembly, even on x86.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 48 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Donovan Reeve on 17-Aug-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 23 (atheist):
Grin!!
Ya! And why don't the automobile manufacturers make 1 or 2 gigahertz
piston engines? Shoot, you'd think by now they'd have solved the puney
problems of mass, inertia, centrepital force, metal fatigue, stress forces,
flame travel speed (latency), heat dissapation, detonation, various latency
factors in the ignition system, etc, etc. Are we living in the middle ages
or what? It's about time they got on the stick!
;) Sorry, just couldn't resist pulling your leg.
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 49 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by Donovan Reeve on 18-Aug-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 46 (Solar (BAUD)):
Windoz is ok if you don't mind being a slave and having your privacy invaded.
Personally, I am hoping for a system and apps which give me a little more
freedom and flexibility.
Linux is better, but way to fiddley and disjointed for most people.
What is needed is something in between which is both comfortable and
powerful. I believe the plans which Amiga has outlined have the best
chance of accomplishing this. They are proceeding carefully, building a good
foundation while trying to make friends instead of enemys with the powerful
companys which can make or break them, without compromising their ideals.
Yes, it would have been nice if something could have been done years ago,
but there was nobody to do it years ago who wasn't fatally involved in other
business which left Amiga orphaned. And it's NEVER to late. There ain't no
such thing! Just because a monopolly has a vertual stranglehold on the
market today doesn't assure that it will remain that way. History shows that
ALL the giants eventually fall or get left behind. I have no confidence that
the people of the world will continue to be content with the quagmire of the
wintel consortium. Allready many signs of discontent are extaunt. Something
else will arise, and that something else may as well be Amiga. Even if Amiga
doesn't achieve a monopoly (and it probably won't nor would I want it to),
I hope the Amiga becomes a major player in the market in due time because it
is much more to my tast than anything else which has any chance of succeeding.
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and niether did it fall in a day, but
it did fall.
As far as hardware platforms go, I do think it is wise that they are planning
to support as many as possible eventually. I also hope they can bring about
direct support of the X86 platform in due time, but there are many hurdles to
jump before that can happen and not all of them are in the rhealm of software
and electronics engineering. Knowing what friends to make and how to achieve
cooperation with the larger fish in the pond is a major part of it also.
These days, the politics are harder than the engineering, and Bill McEwin is
better at that than any of the previous owners of Amiga. He has also gathered
about him a staff of talented people who also realise those things along with
their other talants. That is one of the main reasons Amiga has a good chance
of succeeding this time. Others are thier possitive enthusiasm and energy.
Can PPC compete? Yes. Will it? I think so. Contrary to what was said in
one comment, PPC is begining to show more life than X86, and has some very
good engineering allready and huge improvements on the way. IBM is lately
becoming a much improved and livelier company and have decided to push PPC
ahead which I believe they can do. As far as Apple buying PPC and choking
supply, right now such a move would be very hard on them as they havent been
doing as well as projected. That may change with G5, but I think they will
merely look more to IBM instead of depending on Motorola so much. I know IBM
certainly doesn't want Apple to monopolise the PPC family allthough they don't
mind working with them for common good. IBM has always seen PPC more as a
PC solution, whereas Motorolla has always been more interested in the imbedded
market which is their main business. Shucks, the only reason we ever got
68060 processors was because the military and comunications markets demanded
them. That was also the reason for the developement of ColdFire, etc.
Well, sorry about the rather long and varied comment, but I don't comment
often so I guess I made up for it. ;)
Apple to buy PPC assets from Motorola? : Comment 50 of 50ANN.lu
Posted by asian on 21-Aug-2001 22:00 GMT
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010821/tc/telecoms_motorola_dc_5.html
Anonymous, there are 50 items in your selection
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