IBM cuts power of G5 with 90nm process


The IBM PowerPC 970 (the chip called the G5 by Apple) has been out for about a year and has made many a Macintosh afficionado very happy with its performance. However, judging by the amount of air movement necessary (see the wicked-cool cooling in the G5) to keep the G5 thermally happy, it hasn't exactly been a cool runner... until now. An article from The Register provides the basic information.

IBM unveilled the 90nm version of the 970 late last year and it is being used in Apple's G5 XServe computers. For those who were wondering how Apple could squeeze 2 of those cooing CPUs into a 1U rack mount unit, then answer is that the heat dissapation from the 90nm version of the CPU is 24.5W at 2GHz, comparing quite favorably to the 130nm G5 used in Apple's desktop computers (at 51W for 1.8GHz). Of course, all of this pales in comparison to the 100W that a single 3.2GHz Intel 'Prescot' processor will draw (when the 90nm CPU is actually available).

The article from the Register also discusses the implications for the PowerBook line, as the 970FX (as the 90nm G5 is called) will draw only 12.7W at 1.4GHz, compared to the 7.5W of the G4 at 1GHz.

Steve's 3GHz G5 may well be a reality by mid-year.