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Re: [vox-tech] Mac OS X on intel?
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Re: [vox-tech] Mac OS X on intel?

Just figured I'd chime in.

Darwin is basically the kernel and some of the unix side utils.
It's available for powerpc (and as previously noted) Intel.

Keep in mind that OSX is basically an ancestor of the old nextstep which
ran on Motoroll and Intel (and I think maybe 1-2 others).

As far as I can tell the G5 is dead, motorolla called it quits on the
desktop when apple killed all the apple clones, motorolla wanted to go
after the embedded market for cpu's for cars, cell phones and the like.
In any case this was publically announced.

Kinda sad, Motorolla has played a large part in keeping Apple behind
the price/perf curve.  At one point Motorola couldn't break 500 Mhz
and IBM could, alas Motorola wouldn't allow IBM to make faster chips
and IBM couldn't because they required the altivec license.

Thankfully motorola has given up, and no longer restricts IBM.  

Now that IBM has free reign they have just added Altivec to the Power 4
which has been shipping in high end servers for some time now.  Excellent
memory performance, full 64 bit registers/pointers, and other fun stuff.

It even has vertical threading, but I think thats a bit to complex
for discussion here.

So basically IBM has a killer 64 bit chip, killer memory bus (which
has long been a serious problem with Apple), and altivec (required for
some specialized software), it's expected to show up in apple's
sometime in the next year.

On the other hand a very similar but x86 compatible chip is expected from
AMD (the hammer/x86-64) in the next month or so, it uses a interconnect
called Hypertransport.  It's used as fast cheap high speed interface on
quite a few pieces of hardware today.  Some x86 motherboards, the xbox,
some athlon motherboards (nforce/nforce2), some embedded MIPS cpus etc.

Quite a bit of industry support seems to be building for Hypertransport,
among the licenses are Cisco, Nvidia, ATI, Sun, and Apple.

So you combine apple offering the OSX kernel and related stuff (darwin)
for Intel, Apple licensing HT, and apple needing a serious memory/cpu
upgrade to stay competitive and you come to the conclusion that apple
is at least considering OSX for intel.

Not to mention Apple would love to run a Switch campaign against
microsoft/intel saying what, you still use a "32 bit" OS/Apps/Hardware?
How 90's ;-)

On the flipside the powerpc970 (which IMO apple would be dead without),
apple can stay competitive, and I'm sure the developers would rather
support 1 architecture than 2.   Even is OSX has the fatbinary support
from nextstep. 

Bill Broadley
UC Davis
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