Apple is said to be working on a final update to its PowerPC-based PowerBook G4 product line, before it switches the line to Intel's x86 processors. This update may probably be launched during the third week of September at Apple Expo Paris. However, it is possible that Apple will delay or even cancel this revision entirely.
These new models are referenced to as the PowerBook5,8 and the PowerBook5,9. The high-end ones will get a 30MHz clock speed boost, putting the models with 15-inch and 17-inch displays at 1.7GHz, and the 15-inch model is expected to get the same features as the current 17-inch PowerBook.
The new PowerBooks are expected to be the first Macs with dual-channel DDR2 memory support and at least one of the two new models should offer a higher resolution display, likely 1920 x 1200 pixels.
Still, at least one factor threatens to hamper Apple's plans to release the new PowerBooks next month, AppleInsider has been told. Specifically, it's believed that Apple's PowerPC development team has been met by a shortage of resources as the company shifts the vast majority of its engineers to its forthcoming Intel-based projects.
These new models are expected to be powered by the MPC7448 PowerPC G4 processor from Freescale which is based on Freescale's e600 PowerPc core. These chips will double the PowerBook's L2 cache from 512KB to 1MB. The MPC7448 also uses the 90nm process which will significantly increase clock and bus speeds while reducing power requirements.
The PowerBook G4 line is one of Apple's two best selling Macintosh products as of late, with the iMac G5 being the other. By producing one more PowerBook G4 revision this fall, Apple will be able generate added interest and maintain higher average selling prices moving into the holiday shopping season, said a respected Wall Street analyst who asked not be named. But it would not be detrimental to the company if it failed to do so, the analyst added.