IBM had some problems lately delivering enough 2.50GHz processors for Apple's new PowerMac G5 but some reports already talk about a new challenge for IBM: dual-core chips for Apple machines in early 2005.
It is said that IBM has a chip code-named Antares with two PowerPC cores. Likely this chip will be called PowerPC 970MP, it will be aimed at Apple's desktops, workstations and servers.
Each PowerPC 970MP core will have its own 1MB L2 cache and will be clocked at 3.0GHz. The PowerPC 970MP will feature a copper bus with 10 layers of metal: the dual cores will share a single Elastic Interface (EI) bus supporting a wide range of bus ratios, opening the door for a FSB higher than 1000 MHz
The production process used for this new processor will be the CMOS SOI10k. The die will be about 154 square millimetres, only a bit larger than AMD's Athlon 64 according to the website.
A few new features of the PowerPC 970MP are the Velocity Engine instructions set, IBM's PowerTune technology for power-saving purposes and ABIST (Array Built-In Self Test- for test and qualification simplifications.
It is said that first prototype samples of this new chip will be available in August 2004, while production is planned to begin in January 2005.