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Motorola offers peek at new G3 chip

Motorola reveals new details about the first of its next-generation PowerPC processors, known as the G3.

Motorola (MOT) revealed new details about the first of its next-generation PowerPC processors, called G3, at the International Solid State Circuits Conference '97 in San Francisco, California.

Company officials presented details of a G3 that will initially run at 250 MHz to conference attendees and could eventually reach speeds of up to 400 MHz. The unofficial G3 moniker refers to the next generation of high performance, low-power processors for use in desktop and notebook computers.

Aside from increases in clock speeds, processor performance will be enhanced in less obvious ways. The G3 will double the built-in cache of the 603e. Cache is high-speed memory that can feed data as fast as the processor needs it, keeping the processor from "starving" for data. A large cache memory is needed because new processors use data much faster than typical memory chips can deliver the data.

The G3 will also have a version with even more cache--up to 1MB--for additional performance gains.

Motorola hasn't yet formally introduced the processor, but has said it expects it to ship in mid-1997.