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Motorola developing dual-core PowerPC G4, MPC 7447A successor

Three new PowerPC microprocessors under development at Motorola could provide Apple with additional options for forthcoming revisions its PowerBook product-line, assuming that the company is unable to deliver a PowerBook G5 by year's end.

Freescale, Motorola's soon to be spun-off chip division, is expected to debut its dual-core PowerPC G4 processor at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, CA, in October.

According to documents received by The Register, the new G4 will contain two PowerPC cores with AltiVec and expected to feature an on-board memory controller capable of supporting DDR 2 SDRAM, a Gigabit Ethernet controller, Rapid IO bus, and eventually run at speeds in excess of 2GHz.

Freescale (MOTOROLA) Roadmap

Freescale's PowerPC Roadmap

The new chip will reportedly be a member of Freescale's e600 series, and the company is also working on a G5-style e700 processor that combines 32-bit and 64-bit operation.

The Register speculates that the dual core chip may pave the way for a future PowerBook G4, if Apple is unable to solve its G5 PowerBook complex in a reasonable amount of time.

Additionally, the article also confirms rumors that Motorola is working on successor to the MPC 7447A--the chip used in the most current PowerBook G4 systems--which AppleInsider sources have previously referred to as the "G4 extended" chip. This chip is rumored to reach speeds of 2G GHz, but is yet unnamed.