IBM on PowerPC 970MP Power Savings

ZDNet and eWeek report on a presentation by Norman Rohrer, and IBM engineer at the Fall Processor Forum in San Jose.

Roher discussed the IBM PowerPC 970MP which is being used by Apple in the latest round of PowerMac revisions. IBM describes the new chip as a "low-power, high-performance" processor.

The 970MP houses two processor cores each with its own CPU, AltiVEC unit and 1MB of cache. The previous PowerPC 970 (G5) processor only had a single core. In addition, the new 970MP can shut down one of the two cores and further reduce power consumption by reducing its frequency. Peak consumption is described as 100W which can be reduced to 40W.

Even with such power savings modes, it seems unlikely that the 970MP will approach the anticipiated plans from Intel to produce lower power consumption chips. Intel's future Performance per Watt roadmaps were cited as reasons for Apple's switch to Intel which is planned to begin in 2006.

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