IBM on Apple/Intel and the G5
On September 11, IBM published a story on their intranet promoting their Technology Group and their relationship to Apple with regard to the PowerPC 970. This story has been made available to MacRumors.
The item offers some unique insight into Apple, and their relationship with IBM as well as Apple's thoughts on the alternative.
Of particular interest are some comments on Apple's situation and decision to use IBM's PowerPC 970 processor. According to the report, amidst the speculation that Apple would move to an Intel-based processor, Apple felt the transition would be too difficult:
- While Intel is aggressive in achieving its performance and speed goals, Apple believed that using Intel would deeply affect its current customer base. Using an Intel architecture might solve Apple's short-term megahertz dilemma, but customers would have to suffer through a slow transition from PowerPC over the long term. Every existing Mac program would potentially have to be recompiled to work on an Intel platform. These massive software changes were something that Apple wanted to avoid, and IBM had the solution."
IBM's Technology Group took on the task for Apple and developed the PowerPC 970 in a 12-18 month timeframe. Beyond the PowerPC 970, IBM is committed to a long-term technology roadmap. According to the report: "IBM has committed to provide several generations of processor development to Apple over the course of five years."