At its Worldwide Developer Conference last week, Apple Computer announced plans to switch from PowerPC to Intel processors beginning next year. The company said it would transition all of its Macs to Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007.
The transition was announced after repeated delays by Apple’s key chip vendor, IBM, in delivering a speedy G5 processor that could run cool enough to be used in Apple’s Powerbook laptop computers.
The switch has implications for broadcasters, especially news organizations such as CNN, that depend on Apple Powerbooks for field editing and transmission of news events via satellite phone. More powerful processors are expected to improve video quality of field reports.
The G5 processor is also the engine of the Apple hardware most used by video editors and post-production facilities working with Apple’s Final Cut video and sound editing applications.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, revealed that Apple’s OS X operating system was designed to work on Intel processors from day one. Last week, he demonstrated Mac OS X Tiger, the latest version of the OS, running on an Intel-based Mac to the more than 3800 developers attending the conference.
He also announced the availability of a Developer Transition Kit, consisting of an Intel-based Mac development system along with preview versions of Apple’s software, which will allow developers to prepare versions of their applications which will run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.