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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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The most recent issue of eWeek features an analysis/paean to IBM’s Power4 chip. The quote that lept off the page and floored me was the following:

<blockquote>The two CPU cores on a single Power4 chip share more than 100GB per second of bandwidth to their shared L2 cache and more than 55GB per second to memory. Personally, I overflow on numbers that big; perhaps, like me, you’ll find it easier to think of 55GB as 26 hours of DVD video—a stupefying amount of data. And the IBM eServer p655 series, shipped late last year, can hold four- and eight-processor blocks that stack up to 128 Power4 processors per frame.</blockquote>

Okay, so the Power4 chip is mighty in its power and those new p655 servers must be the bomb. What’s that got to do with me or you? Well, there are longstanding (and credible) rumors that Apple is going to go with the PowerPC 970—a Power4-derived CPU—as its G5-series processor. If that happens, you can finally expect some serious firepower under the hood of your Mac.