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In computing, the PowerPC 970 and the PowerPC 970FX, also known as PowerPC G5, are 64-bit processors in the PowerPC family from IBM, which was introduced in 2002. The PowerPC 970 is built using a 130nm manufacturing process, and the PowerPC 970FX is built using a 90nm fabrication process. They both feature over 58 million transistors. They are based on the core from IBM's Power4 processor, and feature IBM's VMX vector engine (aka AltiVec, Velocity Engine), also used in Motorola's G4 (PowerPC 74xx). Additionally, they are able to process 32-bit PowerPC instructions natively.
In keeping with its previous naming conventions, Apple Computer termed the PowerPC 970 the G5 in an announcement in June, 2003. The term G5 in this context stands for the fifth generation of PowerPC microprocessors. Since then, the PowerPC 970FX has replaced the PowerPC 970 in all of Apple's G5 computers. Apple's professional desktop machine, the Power Mac G5, uses a single 1.8 GHz G5 processor or dual 1.8, dual 2.0 or dual 2.5 GHz G5 processors. Apple's Xserve server machines, use either single 2.0 GHz or dual 2.3 GHz G5 processors. The consumer line, the iMac, uses either a single 1.6GHz processor or a single 1.8GHz processor.
Derivatives of the PowerPC 970 are being used in the Xbox Next and Project Revolution, Nintendo's successor to the GameCube. The multiprocessor Cell chip which will be in Sony's PlayStation 3 system will contain a control processor based on the PowerPC 970 architecture. With a next-generation console battle looming, it could be said that the real winner will be IBM. IBM is currently developing the 970MP, which is due out in the 3rd quarter of 2005, and is code-named "Antares". The PowerPC 970MP is said to be a dual-core processor that can scale up to 3.5GHz. This chip should start at 90nm and then graduate to the 65nm process.
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