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Marklar

We're moving more and more of our operations to the Apples. Wintels really suck, and Apples are so nice. There are a few things we will need to do from time to time on a Wintel, but they can be kept to a minimum.

eWeek had an article 30 August about a curious project in Cupertino called Marklar, a separate development team that keeps OS X up to date on Intel platforms. Whenever the PowerPC team changes something, the Marklar group has to catch up. The reason for this is supposedly that Apple are not certain they can bank on Motorola anymore for substantial processor upgrades. Right now Apple's top of the line use G4s, and even though the grapevine has been talking about G5s for some time, they have yet to appear.

From their outset, PowerPCs were designed to do all ops in one clock cycle - unheard of in the Intel camp way back then. Intel speed doesn't really matter that much, because the Intel has to scurry around fetching things from memory and putting them back, where the PowerPC can flip in an entire stack frame and complete the called function's ops without going to memory a single time.

Design and development of the PowerPC was originally a joint venture between IBM and Motorola; the two companies have since gone their separate ways and developed models of their own. Apple stayed in the Motorola camp, but the IBM PowerPC is compatible with the Motorola PowerPC, and IBM has an awesome 64-bit Power4 chip Apple can use if Motorola balk any more.

Apple may be hedging their bets, but Intel isn't a move they want to make.

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