Clickable Link: Comparing Apples and Oranges

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

EETimes has an interesting article (“Analysis: 64-bit rivals set to take on Merced“) detailing the next generation of processors that are pushing “supercomputer” performance in a desktop chasis. The article includes Intel’s Merced, Compaq’s Alpha, Apple/IBM/Motorola’s (AIM) G4, and Sun Microsystem’s UltraSparc III. While the article focuses mainly on Intel’s Merced, here’s a few choice tidbits:

In Motorola’s parlance, the G4 chip is really the MPC7400, a next-generation PowerPC chip. Fabricated on 0.15-micron design rules, it makes heavy use of copper interconnects.

The MPC7400 will be produced in 350-, 400-, 450- and 500-MHz varieties at first. All but the 500-MHz chip are sampling. Apple claims the Velocity Engine gives the G4 a sustainable performance of 1 Gflops and peak performance of 4 Gflops.

Even with Alpha and Ultrasparc in the picture, Intel believes it has licked the one paper spec that has kept it from pushing to the front of the pack: floating-point performance. Merced will deliver 6 Gflops of single-precision floating-point and 3 Gflops double precision.

Merced is expected to ship in mid-2000. It almost makes you giddy to think what the AIM alliance will have in production when Merced ships.

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