Apple Announces Significant Progress for Macintosh on PowerPC
Announces Upgrade Path and Demonstrates Macintosh Applications Compatibility
New Performance Mark for the PowerPC 601 Chip
San Jose, Calif. -- May 10, 1993 -- Apple Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: AAPL) announced today at its Worldwide Developers Conference that significant progress has been made in developing the first PowerPC-based Apple Macintosh personal computers. Apple plans to incorporate the powerful RISC-based microprocessor, designed in conjunction with IBM and Motorola, into its line of personal computers beginning in the first half of 1994.
Apple demonstrated at the conference that Macintosh on PowerPC has passed several significant development milestones since IBM delivered the first PowerPC 601 sample chips in September 1992. The update on the PowerPC program included the following:
-- Demonstration of a prototype Macintosh computer running on an 80 MHz PowerPC 601 microprocessor, achieving a new performance level in the personal computer industry.
-- Demonstration of compatibility with existing Macintosh applications software, running without modification.
-- Preview of new third-party applications exploiting the native power of the PowerPC chip.
-- Announcement of support from 11 leading software developers who are writing new versions of their applications for the platform. (See accompanying release.)
-- Commitment to an upgrade path for current Macintosh customers.
"PowerPC is on track to catapult Macintosh into the future," said John Sculley, chairman and CEO of Apple Computer, Inc. "The software compatibility and performance of PowerPC have exceeded our expectations. Macintosh on PowerPC is destined to provide developers with significant new market opportunities and customers with unprecedented computing power and new features at very reasonable prices."
Today's announcement was Apple's first major report on the status of Macintosh on PowerPC since announcing the adoption of the RISC chip as part of the Apple-IBM-Motorola technology alliance in October 1991.
"Apple is committed to a smooth transition to Macintosh on PowerPC," said Fred Forsyth, senior vice president and general manager for the Macintosh Systems Division. "As part of this transition, we are announcing today an upgrade path to PowerPC for 680x0-based Macintosh systems. We want to make it as easy as possible for current Macintosh customers to access the power of PowerPC. We will continue to work to create upgrade paths for as many Macintosh models as possible."
Apple announced that it intends to offer upgrades to PowerPC for the Macintosh Centris 610 and 650 computers, Macintosh IIvx and IIvi, Performa 600 and Quadra 800 systems. Apple and third-party developers are working to create upgrade paths for other Macintosh models as well. Specifics on the various upgrade options will be made available when PowerPC-based Macintosh products are announced.
Apple will continue to offer 680x0-based Macintosh systems well after the initial introduction of Macintosh on PowerPC. Customers can choose between PowerPC-based systems and 680x0-based systems, depending on their needs.
Apple said that customers' current investments in Macintosh application software will be preserved. Apple's chief goal in the transition to PowerPC is to retain a high degree of compatibility with existing Macintosh applications. In addition, Apple is already working with hundreds of developers to ensure that a myriad of new applications will take specific advantage of the new performance of the PowerPC.
"Apple developers are already expressing great enthusiasm for Macintosh on PowerPC," said Kirk Loevner, vice president of Apple's Developer Group. "We're making the developer transition from 680x0-based applications to PowerPC as easy and efficient as possible. With the significant performance gains of Macintosh on PowerPC, we will enable new classes of applications not possible on today's desktop systems."
PowerPC offers substantial performance improvements over current CISC-based microprocessors and competitive offerings. This new level of performance will translate into improved speed for today's applications, while enabling developers to further enhance their applications with next-generation features such as speech recognition, text-to-speech, sound, telephony, video, 3D rendering and animation, and complex modeling and analysis.
At its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple demonstrated for the first time a prototype PowerPC-based system running at 80 MHz. The original design goal of the PowerPC 601 chip was 66 MHz.
"Apple's technology demonstration today proves that the PowerPC RISC microprocessor continues to meet and exceed our performance goals," said Fred Sporck, manager of microprocessor product development, IBM Technology Products. "We are confident that the PowerPC is a strategic platform for not only Apple and IBM, but also for the entire industry as well." IBM Technology Products today announced pricing and availability for the PowerPC 601 microprocessor.
"Motorola is dedicated to making PowerPC microprocessors a new industry standard for computing," said Lester M. Crudele, vice president and general manager of Motorola's RISC Microprocessor Division. "Last month we began general sampling PowerPC 601 microprocessors to a broad spectrum of system suppliers worldwide."
Over time, Apple plans to offer a full range of products based on PowerPC, from entry-level to high-end Macintosh personal computers. The computers will ship with Apple's standard operating system, System 7. The new computers will offer developers and customers high performance and a variety of new features at competitive prices.
Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Apple Computer, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets computer systems for use in business, education, the home, science, engineering, and government. A recognized pioneer and innovator in the personal computer industry, Apple does business in more than 120 countries. Apple's Macintosh computers and LaserWriter printers were ranked highest in user satisfaction among business users in recent studies by J.D. Power and Associates.
Apple, the Apple logo and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Centris, Quadra, Performa and System 7 are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. PowerPC and PowerPC 601 are trademarks of IBM Corporation.
CONTACT: Betty Taylor, 408-974-3983, or Stacy Williams, 408-862-3362, both of Apple Computer, Inc.
Copyright 1993 PR Newswire Association, Inc.