G4 may be announced at Seybold

Steve Jobs is expected to unveil Apple's next generation professional platform, the G4. Industry watchers say it's going to be a media powerhouse.

It's the Steve Jobs show again. This time it's at Seybold San Francisco, a conference dedicated to publishing in the 21st century. (At least that's what the brochure touts). So what is Jobs going to talk about this time? The whole Apple community and nearly every attendee at Seybold is hoping it's going to be Apple's next generation of professional computer platform. Code-named Sawtooth, the platform's going to be a G4-powered media powerhouse. Apple is being typically tight-lipped. But word on the grapevine is that it's surely going to be powered by a CPU developed by Motorola and IBM.

The G4 processor is going to be a major step forward for the Macintosh platform. First, it will be the first CPU using a copper-based .18 micron process. What does that mean? For one thing, it will allow for faster clock speeds (450 MHz and faster). Also, it will require lower voltage and provide generally better performance. The second major improvement is known as AltiVec technology. It's a set of Single Instruction Multiple Data, or SIMD, operations, similar in concept to Intel's MMX and KNI.

Another major change will be the elimination of the ADB port. That's been the tried-and-true Apple standard for attaching keyboard and mice. USB will the new standard, and a new full-sized keyboard and mouse will debut.

The rest of the basic specs should be:

Processor: 450-, 500-, 550-MHz G4 Processors (possible multiple processor configurations)

Backside Cache: 512k to 2MB per processor

Bus Speed: 100 MHz (with 133 MHz and 150 MHz to follow)

RAM: 64MB (4 DIMM slots)

Hard Disk: 8-12GB ATA/Single OR Dual 9GB Ultra2

DVD-ROM: Standard

PCI Slots: Three 64-bit, 33-MHz slots

AGP: Single 2X (possible 4X) Advanced Graphics Port with ATI Rage Card

Be aware that this is all speculation. The answer to what Steve Jobs will talk about and just what the new G4s are going to offer can be found here, 31 August, 1999, when ZDNet's sister publication ZDTV.com broadcasts Jobs' speech live.