Tech Industry

Exponential vets Mac superchip

The Exponential X704--a 533-MHz PowerPC-compatible chip--has made its debut and could ship this summer.

Exponential Technology is preparing to ship its superfast processor for Apple Macintosh and Macintosh-compatible computers in the middle of this year's second quarter ending July 31.

The company gave its first public demonstration of the processor at the Apple booth at Macworld Japan in Tokyo running in a modified Apple 9500 Power Macintosh.

The Exponential X704 processor is a 533-MHz, PowerPC-compatible microprocessor designed for high-end Mac-compatible systems. It delivers more than twice the processor speed of any PC microprocessor solution currently available, according to the company.

Apple (AAPL) has already indicated that it will bring out a 500- or 533-MHz Mac later this year. The system was originally previewed during Apple CEO Gil Amelio's keynote address at Macworld Expo in the United States in January.

The X704 is specifically designed for computer-intensive applications, including desktop publishing, multimedia authoring, and image processing.

The Exponential X704 will be priced at $1,000 for volume production orders and will also be available in 500-MHz and 466-MHz versions.

Exponential also recently closed a $13.2 million third round of financing last quarter that included contributions from Mitsui Comtek, New Japan Finance, Umax Computer Corporation, and Pacific Mandarin Fund, as well as other Far East and international investors.