User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » Speculation and Rumors »

Opinions on the IBM Cell Processor article


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
Opinions on the IBM Cell Processor article
Thread Tools
micmoo
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
 
2004-07-08, 19:49

Hi Gang,
Just read a disturbing article about IBM's Cell Processor and it's effect on Apple. http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/34994.html

the article is pure speculation, but sugests a plot by IBM to force Apple out of the industry by having tied them in to a dead processor in the G5 with no upgrade path to the Cell.

Please check out the article and post thoughts...

PS. this is my first time here at AppleNova, very nice community!
  quote
Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-07-08, 20:10

Sun is a processor maker right? If so, they are afraid of IBM and there capibilties. At least we have Moto/freescale in our pockets. They will be gloating that apple had to go back to them. But, this article is so much bs.

giggity
  quote
hobbit.2
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: shire
 
2004-07-08, 20:45

Who says that this will leave Apple high and dry?
In other forums quite long ago it was speculated that the Cell concept would be ideally suited for PowerBooks. Instead of having one power hungry, hot G5, use 4 low-power, low-heat Cell CPUs. Or even dual core Cell CPUs.

The reality is of course more difficult as the Cell CPUs don't have AltiVec and Mac applications generally are not really highly multi-threaded yet. But the point was that OS X is designed for multi CPUs (and/or multi core CPUs. It should be possible for Apple to run OS X on a Cell derivative. Especially if Apple would develop some kind of OS X 'microOS' which could fully load into each of the Cell CPUs, running a complete system on each chip.

I would even go so far as to say that this could be plan B for desktops too, in case 90nm and 65nm processes won't scale CPU clock speeds any more. What if 4GHz is the wall? Cell systems could be a way out.
Because of Apple's affiliation with IBM, it could be much better off in the long run - because of Cell.
  quote
hmurchison
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: LV 426
Send a message via ICQ to hmurchison  
2004-07-08, 21:16

Disturbing indeed. The clueless shouldn't be allowed to publish articles on the intarweb. The guy made so many errors( Motorola created PowerPC...guffaw) I couldn't finish it. Save 2 minutes of your life you won't be able to get back and avoid this garbage.
  quote
HOM
The Elderâ„¢
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Rostra
 
2004-07-08, 21:41

Yet Another Apple Will Die If It Does Not Transition To A New CPU Line (YAAWDIIDNTTANCL) article.

Wake me up when Apple's dead.
  quote
AirSluf
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location:
 
2004-07-08, 21:41

XXXXX

Last edited by AirSluf : 2004-11-15 at 22:58.
  quote
zwei
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Near a Mac
Send a message via AIM to zwei  
2004-07-08, 21:57

Apple's doomed!!! DOOOOMED!!
  quote
Henriok
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Send a message via AIM to Henriok  
2004-07-09, 16:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by micmoo
Hi Gang,
Just read a disturbing article about IBM's Cell Processor and it's effect on Apple. http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/34994.html
Woah.. what is he smoking? I find so many things that just ain't right that it's hard to counter them all.

IBM have taken this year to take a new and decicive grip on it's POWER and PowerPC offerings. POWER everywhere! Power5 and 970 is all over IBM's Power pages, and they won't go away. It's just silly that IBM would deliberately screw Apple and Microsoft who's Xbox 2-processor is PowerPC based, not Cell. IBM is trying to get back on the map with powerfull desktop processors, and screwing 2 of their three largest customers (Nintendo beeing the third member of that triad) would be just moronic.

It would be easy to port Darwin and Linux to Cell, but nearly impossible to port the rest of OSX? And, it would be a viable path for Apple to adopt the Sparc architechture instead? Woah? This is just so dumb that I'm at loss for words.
And.. IBM just made the POWER technology as open as Sparc ever was.. Oh, let's just ingnore that And.. that the Sparc processors is vastly underpowered compared to the PowerPC offerings, present and future.
And.. why ditch a proven architechture for something that's unproven even for Sun?

This seems to me like a Sun fanboy grasping for straws just to justify Sun sticking to Sparc. I can see Sun benefiting from OSX on Sparc, but from Apple's point of view it is just dumb.

Just to set things straight: IBM did create PowerPC. Motorola added support for its 88110 bus technology, the rest is pure IBM. AltiVec is not part of the PowerPC specification but just one of numerous add ons that are available.

Last edited by Henriok : 2004-07-09 at 16:08.
  quote
ATS
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
 
2004-07-09, 16:24

One unconsidered possibility is that Apple is going to switch to the cell processor for its next-gen Pro models. Perhaps the reason Apple hasn't pushed for 3GHz G5s is because they're busy engineering cell-based Pro hardware. The iMac goes G5, the Pro units use multiple cell processors.

It's not that farfetched. Apple already has an OS that can run on 2 similar processors (plus Intel, if rumors are to be believed.) And you've got to think Apple is acutely aware of the danger of being tied to a single processor type after weathering Motorola's multiyear drought.
  quote
stoo
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-07-09, 18:58

A few comments:

Quote:
Sun has the technology to compete
Not on the desktop. The UltraSPARC III has fallen way behind the G5/Athlon 64 (and probably the P4, if you want to count 32bit machines).

Quote:
PowerPC does not have the absurd complexities of the x86, and 90-nanometer production should be easily in reach for IBM.
Has this man been asleep while CPUs moved, en masse, to RISC-like cores? And it's rather inaccurate to class PowerPC as "simple": it will suffer from manufacturing issues that appear to be prevalent in the 90nm transition, like everyone else.

Quote:
the attached processors are not compatible with Altivec and neither is the microcode needed to run the thing. Most importantly, however, the graphics and multiprocessor models are totally different.
OH NOES! This is like saying that the Power4 wasn't originally built with Altivec and therefore it is totally impossible to add to it. (The 970 is effectively a PowerPC version of a Power 4, with a less ridiculous bus/pinout/L3 cache/number of cores and Altivec).

Wait a minute: does UltraSPARC even do SIMD? Altivec code would certainly not be portable.

Quote:
neither is the microcode needed to run the thing
Do you know what microcode is? If you're a programmer (even in assembly), you don't have to, because it's internal to the CPU. And what does this technical term "thing" mean?
  quote
Crusader
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Westminster, MD
Send a message via AIM to Crusader  
2004-07-12, 10:06

Quote:
I am not suggesting that Sun buy Apple, or Apple buy Sun. Neither company has adequate management bandwidth as things stand. I'm suggesting informed cooperation, not amalgamation.


"Apple's marketing department has neither the clockspeed nor the 32-bit registers to keep up with the rest of the company. Hey look, my hands are big...mmm...big..."

This guy is one something else. Did anyone else want to shake him buy the shoulders while screaming "Snap out of it you dope!" I was raised to believe that Linux users were smarter than that, but alas I was mistaken.

"It's a good thing there's no law against a company having a monopoly of good ideas. Otherwise Apple would be in deep yogurt..."
-Apple Press Release
  quote
Admore
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
 
2004-07-19, 09:33

I guess this will end up being a standard reply to the "Apple is doomed, doomed I tell ya!" articles.


Apple doesn't have any debt. They have roughly $6 billion (with a "B") in cash lying around with more on the way ($700 million plus this year, likely). Assuming they spent their cash and borrowed some money, Apple would have AT LEAST $12 billion to throw at any "fatal" problem. So whenever you hear Apple's going to die, ask "Will $12 billion solve this problem?".
  quote
Morpheus
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
 
2004-07-20, 05:46

That guy is all bull...

Morpheus
  quote
iMeowbot
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: perched on a leaky copper pipe
 
2004-07-20, 06:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertaker
Sun is a processor maker right?
Not exactly. They do produce SPARC reference designs (not all of them), but the CPUs are make mostly by TI and Fujitsu.
Quote:
If so, they are afraid of IBM and there capibilties.
Not necessarily. Sun have begun offering AMD-based systems, so they're already indirectly benefitting from IBM tech.
  quote
PhenixReborn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
 
2004-07-20, 22:57

Quote:
90-nanometer production should be easily in reach for IBM.
Just for the heck of it, this guy should look into the actual process of 90nm technology. The reason Intel, et al moved to a slightly larger technology node is because 90nm requires a transition to a new lithography technique (either Extreme UV or X-ray etching, can't remember which right now) that itself requires completely different masks of different material and is exponentially more suseptible to impurities and defects.

The idea that 90nm is supposed to be an easy thing with no difficult problems is ludicrous.

Quote:
PowerPC does not have the absurd complexities of the x86, and 90-nanometer production should be easily in reach for IBM. The cell processor, furthermore, is confidently planned for mass production at 65-nanometer sizes early next year....my belief is that IBM chose not to deliver on its commitment to Apple because doing so would have exacerbated the already embarrassing performance gap between its own server products and the higher end Macs. Right now, for example, Apple's 2-Ghz Xserve is a full generation ahead of IBM's 1.2-GHz p615, but costs about half as much.
Two things:
1. I know Xserve is fast and all, but last I recall, IBM isn't in the server business, it's in the Server Solutions business. The difference is that Apple will sale you one heck of a server; IBM will come in, install everything, set up your network and migrate all your databases to the new servers. All this while educating your IT guys on the new stuff. Those are two totally different markets.

2. Exactly what business sense does it make to lie about your own capabilities? If IBM has reached the 90nm Tech Node in terms of mass production, then they would make more money by proving it in shipping the new G5's than they ever will trying to shrink Apple's server marketshare.

Quote:
As a result, it will be relatively easy to port Darwin to the new machine, but extremely difficult to port the Mac OS X shell and almost impossible to achieve backward compatibility without significant compromise along the lines of a "fat binary" kind of solution.
3. It's too bad that Apple, despite all their top-notch programmers, designers, and Steve Jobs himself, didn't see this one coming. Good thing this guy is around to point it out to them before they get their hopes up. I'm pretty sure whatever compatability problems there will be were considered long before the chip design was even close to being finalized.
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Never thought it would come to this, getting a cell phone Luca Third-Party Products 27 2004-08-21 17:03
X - what is it? Opinions VOX BARBARA Apple Products 9 2004-05-25 15:39


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:47.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2020, AppleNova