French manufacturer Groupe Bull will this week be the first company to roll out a 64-bit 133MHz version of the Power PC 620 processor as part of its server strategy, while other news emerged of the Motorola/ IBM roadmap.
The Bull machines, codenamed Red October, will use Motorola 64-bit superscalar technology and initially based on 0.37 micron technology at clock speeds of 133MHz.
Next week Motorola will also unveil other flavours of its Power PC family, promising higher clock speeds across the range.
Clock speeds will increase to 200MHz by the middle of this year and will increase futher to 300MHz by mid-1997. But Motorola is predicting 1.5 micron by 1999 and 0.25 micron technology in the next century.
Evelyn Cronin, senior industry analyst of the semiconductor group at Dataquest, said that Power PC chips accounted for 3.6 million units, compared to 28 million Pentiums.
'This is a small but important market,' she said. 'The 603 is an entry-level chip at 80MHz and that should go up to 200MHz by 1997. The 604 will be sold into the high-end PC segment and will eventually reach 300MHz.' Cronin said that Motorola had a good opportunity in the server market because it had licensed not only Power PC for NT but also the Macintosh OS.
'Motorola are playing it safe,' she said. 'There is definitely an opportunity for Motorola with its NT background.' The arrival of NT for a number of different platforms will enable software developers to sell across a range of machines.
IBM, one of the majors in the Power PC consortium, has already announced its intention to provide NT based software servers for its range of RS machines.
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