The belief that computers regardless of their make, can share the same programs, came one step closer to reality, when IBM, Apple, and Motorola dedicated a new design and development facility. The 80,000 sq. ft., S500 million design centre, named Somerset, will employ 300 engineers from the three companies. These scientists will endeavor to bring the Power PC single-chip reduced instruction-set computing (RISC) microprocessors to computers ranging from notebooks to sophisticated supercomputers.
Power (Performance optimization with enhanced RISC) PC is the hardware component of IBM and Apple’s plan for network operability between OS/2, IBM AIX and the Apple Macintosh. PowerPC is anticipated to create a profound transformation in the way PC are used. Initial use of PowerPC-based systems is expected to be in embedded control for automotive and consumer products use, portable and desktop computers high-end fault tolerant systems, and supercomputers.
Motorola will aid in designing, manufacturing and marketing the technology, which will be available to other manufacturers besides IBM and Apple. The three companies have decided to base PowerPC on the IBM architecture because of its capabilities and the size of the installed base.
The architecture specification have been completed, development of microprocessor has already started and the first systems are expected to be available next year. It seems the day is not far off when the same program can be run on different brands of computers easily.