Expect Apple to ship PowerBook and iBook notebook Macs based on a G5-class PowerPC chip in Q2.
So claim sources close to Taiwan's contract manufacturers, DigiTimes reports. Tucked away in a discussion about Apple's manufacturing partners are references to an iBook G5 and a PowerBook G5, which will ship in Q2 2005. They will be built by Asustek and Quanta, respectively.
The news will be welcomed by Mac notebook enthusiasts, who have looked forward to a G5-based PowerBook since the emergence some 12 months ago of the 90nm PowerPC 970FX from IBM. In the end, the 90nm die-shrink, despite IBM's initial claims, proved less notebook-friendly than anticipated. This stopped Apple from rolling out a PowerBook based on the chip, but it refreshed the XServe G5 and updated Power Mac desktops with the new part.
Apple's then director of Power Mac product marketing, Tom Boger, told customers at the G5 desktop launch not to expect a PowerBook G5 "any time soon [and] certainly not before the end of the year".
Has IBM solved the 970FX's heat dissipation problems, possibly with new chip-making techniques, or has Apple figured out how to keep the chip sufficiently cool to operate efficiently in a notebook? A third possibility exists: DigiTimes has written 'G5' when it should have typed 'G4'.
Certainly, Apple wants to move the PowerBook line to the G5 and will do so as soon as possible. But Freescale's upcoming 90nm G4-class MPC7448 chip has been seen as a more likely candidate than the G5 for the next PowerBook and / or iBook revisions. ®
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