New PowerPC Chip Faster Than Intel’s Best?

“Ah, if only Apple would’ve stuck with PowerPC, maybe it could’ve skipped the magical 3GHz mark and jumped straight to 4.7GHz. Okay, that’s really just a cheap shot, but I couldn’t resist, given today’s major announcement by IBM that the 65nm POWER6 will not only debut next month at a stratospheric 4.7GHz, but it also shreds most of the relevant benchmarks. But before we get into the details, let’s take a look at the basics of what was announced. From IBM’s press kit, shorn of some of the marketspeak and with some of the details expanded:

  • Top frequency of 4.7GHz
  • >790 million transistors
  • 341mm2 die size
  • 65nm SOI process with ten layers of copper interconnect and a low-k dielectric on the first eight levels
  • Dual-core
  • Two-way simultaneous multithreading (SMT) on each core
  • Two memory controllers
  • Manufactured at IBM’s 300mm semiconductor fab at East Fishkill, NY”



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