Apple, IBM to Use PowerPC Microprocessors in New Low-Cost RISC Systems
Motorola to Manufacture and Market the Chips
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 2, 1991 -- PRNewswire -- Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) are applying their world-class design and manufacturing talents to produce the new PowerPC family of single-chip Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) microprocessors. The PowerPC architecture will address many opportunities in the computer industry -- including desktop personal computers, portable computers, entry and midrange workstations and servers.
PowerPC microprocessors will form the foundation for new high- performance, low-cost systems from Apple and IBM. Motorola will manufacture and market the technology worldwide, making this new microprocessor family widely available to other systems manufacturers. Apple, IBM and Motorola will play key roles in defining the PowerPC architecture.
The PowerPC is the hardware component of the PowerOpen computing environment announced today by Apple, IBM and Motorola. Apple is also bringing the Macintosh operating system to the PowerPC, which will remain compatible with today's Macintosh. IBM will offer a new release of its AIX operating system for the PowerPC.
PowerPC is based on IBM's Performance Optimization with Enhanced RISC (POWER) architecture, the innovative design used in IBM's RISC System/6000 line of advanced workstations and servers. The first PowerPC products are expected to be available within the next two to three years.
The companies also intend to form a new industry organization to promote PowerPC and the PowerOpen computing environment to other manufacturers, software developers and end users.
"The PowerPC initiative has allowed us to extend the benefits of IBM's leadership RISC technology to other computer system manufacturers, software developers, and customers who will experience a new level of performance in low-cost desktop systems," said Jack D. Kuehler, president of IBM. "We are pleased to have Apple and Motorola join us in establishing the PowerPC as the platform of choice for RISC-based personal computing."
"Our alliance integrates IBM's proven POWER architecture and the uncompromising manufacturing and design talent of Motorola," said John Sculley, Apple chairman and chief executive officer. "And, without a doubt, the biggest winners are Apple's customers who now have a clear RISC foundation for the 90s. It is also significant that today's Macintosh will coexist with these new systems. Customers can buy our systems today and know that they are buying into an industry leading technology."
"Our agreement with IBM and Apple represents an unprecedented combination of technology strengths that will establish the PowerPC architecture as a powerful solution for computing in the 1990s and beyond," said James A. Norling, president of Motorola's Semiconductor Product Sector. "Our combined expertise in RISC, computers, communications and software innovation ensures that end users will have access to a new era of functionality and information processing." New PowerPC Chips
Apple, IBM, and Motorola will work together to design the PowerPC microprocessors. Apple plans to use the PowerPC in future versions of the Macintosh personal computer. IBM will manufacture PowerPC chips for its own use in future desktop workstations and servers, which will complement the existing RISC System/6000 line and be able to share applications without modification. Motorola will supply PowerPC chips to Apple and will also market them for other systems and microprocessor applications.
IBM has also licensed its 0.5 micron complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process technology--used in fabricating chips -- to Motorola. Motorola will be able to use this technology for PowerPC chip development.
The PowerPC design initiative will be spearheaded by a team of IBM and Motorola employees to be located in a customer design center in Austin, Texas. More than 300 engineers -- each continuing to work for his or her respective firm -- will initially be assigned to the customer design center project.
The goal of the team is to develop multiple PowerPC implementations, initially targeting three design points, as well as to identify requirements for future enhancements. This core team will provide strong technical coordination while quickly bringing new designs to market.
Apple, the Apple logo, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer Inc.
PowerPC, PowerOpen, and RISC System/6000 are trademarks and AIX is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corp.
CONTACT: John Cook of Apple Computer Inc., 408-974-3145; or Judy Radlinsky of IBM, 914-642-4634; or Rosemary Stone of Motorola Inc., 512-891-4526/ 08:17 EDT
Copyright (c) 1991, PR Newswire