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PowerPC 980 to begin sampling in April, sources say

A new source has provided AppleInsider with some detailed information on the future PowerPC roadmap, and clarifies a recent report. According to the source, the first samplings of 2.5GHz G5 processors started to appear in May, but were based on a 130nm process. However, any G5 processor running at speeds beyond 2GHz — as part of an Apple product — will be built on a 90nm process.

According to preliminary tests, a 2.5GHz Power PC 970 G5 processor based on the 130nm process consumes 96 watts, while 2.5GHz G5 built around the 90nm process pulls a more manageable 62 watts.

Meanwhile, the development of the PowerPC 980 successor is said to be progressing smoothly, with sampling scheduled for April of 2004 and production speeds of 3GHz by late summer. The chip will be based on IBM's Power 5 microprocessor and is currently yielding 'huge performance gains over the G5' during preliminary tests.

Apple has reportedly already received Alpha samples of the chip and is currently running the chips in prototypes of a major revision to the Power Mac G5 due to ship in about 10 months.