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Architosh Staff ([email protected])
1 Dec 2002

TidBits: Forums update, IBM & Moto agreement, more...

Architosh Forums Update

Previously we mentioned the Thanksgiving timeframe (which just ended yesterday) for the update to our forums. They will be integrated into the MacNN forums. However the tech team at MacNN may have gotten carried away with too much turkey and wine! We'll miss that target but not by much. We'll keep you updated.

IBM and Motorola PowerPC Agreement Ends?

A MacNN forum poster is stating that IBM and Motorola's PowerPC agreement ends on January 14, 2003. Whether this is true or not is not so interesting to us here at Architosh, as we have previously been told that IBM and Motorola were taking the PowerPC platform in different directions: the former very interested in the powerful but power-lite G3 architecture for embedded markets, and still interested in powerful and specialized PowerPC processors for the desktop and game machine market (GameCube and Playstation 3) , while the latter more interested in the embedded market period.

What is very interesting about this post is the statement that terms of the current agreement (the one that ends Jan 14) is the source of holdup on the now mythical Motorola G5 chip! The source of that disagreement appears to be HyperTransport vs RapidIO. Apple is a member of the HyperTransport Consortium. The assumption is that both companies are refusing to license each other's design technologies as originally agreed upon in the AIM alliance agreements. Moto is behind RapidIO while IBM may be behind HyperTransport.

Our take is that this rumor -- while very believable and in compliance with other information we have obtained -- is not totally correct. We believe that the real reason behind the Moto's G5 failure to come to market is the demand Apple placed on the use of the proprietary Apple Processor Interconnect (ApplePI-BIU) technology, something Moto had no use for with other G5 customers. Furthermore, we believe it may be that Apple's proprietary bus interface unit technology may have found better performance fit with HyperTransport rather than with RapidIO technology.

And contrary to other posts on the Net, Apple actually architected and created the ApplePI-BIU (Apple Processor Bus-Interface Unit) technology, not IBM. The "ApplePI" (trademarked perhaps?) moniker actually appears on Motorola G5 (code named Eleven) chip floor plan documents we have obtained going as far back as 2000. What we actually know is that back in 2000 some critical issues for Motorola's progress on the G5 chip included resolving the ApplePI technology from Apple both at the legal and specification level. We suspect that the legal issue back in 2000 involved the major PowerPC Alliance agreements between IBM and Motorola. The specification issue likely revolved around convincing Apple that RapidIO was the preferred technology for the ApplePI-BIU.

If the MacNN forum poster is correct about the PowerPC agreement terminations this January 14th, then one may imagine a future wherein IBM and Moto actually implement substantially different technologies with their PowerPC offerings, while still collaborating and sharing core technologies -- something that has been of much value to PowerPC customers. Apple would ultimately be better served if both Moto and IBM had products suitable for Apple's gear.

PiXELS 4.1.2 OS X Demo Available for 30 Free Days

Pixels Digital announced the availability of Pixels 3D 4.1.2 for OS X as a free 30 demo. The demo version is a fully functional version, with the ability to save, export and render. The only limitation is that rendered images are watermarked.

Andrew Bryant: CEO and Founder of Pixels Digital: "The response to Pixels 3D on OS X has been incredible. Popular demand to get a closer look at it has been overwhelming! Our users have described Pixels 3D version 4.1.2 as "silky smooth" on Mac OS X and it is meeting with great excitement in our user community and beyond. We're very pleased to announce that a demo version is now available to the public and would like to thank everyone for their incredible interest."

For more info visit them on the web at:

Architosh Analysis: Pixels 3D is a very capable 3D modeling, rendering and animation tool, and it is also a full Mac OS X application, made by Mac programmers for Mac 3D users! It behooves Mac users interested in 3D to check out this excellent software for free.


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