PowerPC inside

Mac OS X runs on PowerPC (G4s and G5s).

Linus Torvalds runs Linux on a dual 2Ghz PowerMac G5.

Nintendo Gamecube is based on PowerPC, a customized design named Gekko.

Sony has licensed the Power Architecture. This has resulted in the “Cell” chip that will power the PS3 (PlayStation 3).

And now Microsoft’s XBox 2 is rumored to contain three(!) 3Ghz PowerPC chips [via Dylan]. That’s taking it to a new level, triple-processing. The Sega Saturn had a dual processor chip and developers had a hard time writing games for it, but that was probably a function of bad APIs.

I don’t know if we’ll ever get OS X on an XBox 2, though Linux on XBox 2 seems inevitable.

Hopefully these developments will have an effect of create a more competitive chip market, increase the production volume of PowerPC, lower prices all-around, and produce more rapid innovation in the PowerPC line. Specifically, I’d like to see PowerPC chips (and thus PowerMac G5s) ramp up to 5Ghz. Also, this might help in getting to the dearly desired PowerBook G5.

[Free bonus: Here’s a nice little history of PowerPC and Apple from Ars Technica.]

[Another free bonus: Another bit of history, this time about the AIM (Apple, IBM, and Motorola) Alliance that created the PowerPC, which also spawned things like Taligent.]