Hardware Keynote: Jon Rubenstein & Phil Schiller

By: Mikio Moriyasu - Revised: 2006-06-22 devin


iMac Magic
  • 32 % first time buyers in U.S.
  • 47 % first time buyers in Japan
Growing market share
  • 123% Apple growth in home user (Q4'98)
  • 18.4 % desktop market share in Japan (Q1'99)
Phenomenal Developer Support
  • Over 3,000 products since iMac introduction
  • Over 175 USB devices announced

New Powerbook G3

Basic Specifications
  • Only 5.9 lbs
  • Processor 333 MHz, with 512 K L2 cache, or 400 MHz, 1 MB L2 cache
  • Battery life 5.0 hrs, Dual Display Support
Demo - Greg Joswiak, Directory, Power Marketing
He demonstrated a 500 MHz Pentium III vs. a 400 MHz PowerBook G3 running a Photoshop 5 test. The PowerBook was 20% faster.

Next Generation PowerPC

Dramatically improved memory interface
  • Pre-fetching
  • Streaming
  • 3x bandwidth
  • faster access
No-compromise Architectural Extensions
  • 4-state MP-optimzed cache architecture
  • Specially designed for media and DSP applications


What is Altivec?
Altivec is a technology that accelerates software by enhancing the PowerPC instruction set. It is implemented as an independent PowerPC unit, much the same as the Floating Point Unit (FPU) is an independent unit and thus AltiVec instructions can be dispatched in parallel (during the same clock cycle) with other instructions. AltiVec's prime mission is to improve performance of processing.

Vector Processing in a Macintosh
  • 128-bit architectural extension
  • 32 new registers and 162 new instructions for SIMD processing
  • designed for processor intensive programs
  • Multimedia, graphics, 3D, DSP, sound/music, matrix and vector computations
G4 AltiVec vs. Pentium III SSE
  • Richer instruction set
  • Tru streaming support
  • More advanced instruction handling
    • Independent units - no mode switching
  • More registers
  • Maintains simplicity of RISC
AltiVec Demonstration - Chris Cox, Adobe Systems, Inc.
Chris recompiled code for Photoshop 5 for a prototype G4 with AltiVec. The ran a test between a G3 and G4 with AltiVec running at the same MHz. The AltiVec version beat the G3 processor by a minute at least.
  • He was very impressed with the technologies potential.
AltiVec Demonstration - Alex Leierre, Macromedia
Thierry demonstrated a version of Director that he recompiled 10 routines for the AltiVec. The version AltiVec ran the software at least 80% faster than the standard G3.

AltiVec Demonstration - Alex Fucounau, Research Systems
After three days work with a prototype AltiVec unit he received 9 days before the conference, he optimized some of code for the scientific imaging software. He was very impressed with results as were PC and Unix developers in his company.

What Apple is Doing - AltiVec
  • OS integration - transparent Application support
  • OS 8.6 and OS X will support AltiVec
  • Core Graphics routines: QuickDraw, QuickTime, OpenGL
  • Core libraries for developer use

Subsystem Architecture - Greg Paley, V.P. CPU Software

NewWorld ROM
The NewWorld Architecture is the basis for Mac OS startup and ToolBox functionality for all Macintosh CPUs beginning with iMac.
  • Reliability and compatibility
  • Fast revisions and updaters
  • Simplifies developer support of CPU's
  • Migration to Digital
  • Firewire and USB for external connects
  • Enhancement Technologies
  • 3D positional sound
  • Multi-channel virtual surround sound
  • Bass enhancement
Power Management
  • More consistent - not just for portables
  • More sophisticated - wake on LAN
  • More robust - turn off subsystems, including PCI, USB, Firewire
  • More to come - Mac OS 8.6 is just the beginning
  • Recommend to follow Power Manager 2.0 guidelines
  • Updated drivers to take advantage of new Power Manager architecture
  • Provide Open Firmware 3.0 compatible code for boot devices
  • Don't rely on slot names or numbers
  • ATA Ultra for mainstream computers
  • Ideal for DV, publishing,image editing
  • SCSI Ultra 2 LVD for special purpose computers
  • Ideal for multiple drive RAID external expansion
Removable and External Drives
  • No built-in floppy
  • More DVD
  • Improve software support for USB and Firewire deviced


  • Entry and Consumer Peripherals
  • Up to 12 MBps throughput
  • 127 devices on bus
  • Hot plug/unplug
  • Power on bus
  • Replaces serial and ADB connections
New in USB
  • In Mac OS 8.6 (USB 1.2)
  • Isochrouns and interrupt out data transfters
  • Complex USB device configurations
  • PostScript Printers
  • Mass starage device drivers

    In the future, when a USB device is plugged in. If the driver is not availble it will download it off the internet.
Demonstration - David Moddy, Sr. Director, Desktop Product Marketing
He plugged in a USB device without the drivers installed for it. A dialog displayed stating that the driver is not available do you want to download it. He di and it downloaded and prompted to install it. Then it mounted the Zip disk.

Class drivers - One global driver that simplifies support for users & developers


  • Up to 400 Mbps throughput
  • 63 devices on bus
  • Power on bus
  • Replaces SCSI, Analog A/V
New in FireWire
  • In Mac OS 8.6 (FireWire 2.0)
    • SBP-2 for hard drives, printers
    • CMP for multiple cameras
  • Coming soon in FireWire 2.1
    • DV capture to FireWire drives
    • CardBus support
Demonstration - Firewire
He demostrated a hot swappable nature of FireWire with a VST FireWire drive. Played a QuickTime 4 movie then unplugged the drive while it was playing, then plugged it back in and it continued playing. Then plug 4 more drives to the FireWire bus, while the movie was still playing without problems.

Then he did a capture from a DV camera to a FireWire hard drive in real time.