Macs to drive on HyperTransport links

Apple Computer plans to discuss how it will incorporate HyperTransport, a rapid chip-to-chip communications technology, into future computers later this month at its developer conference.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company will use HyperTransport as a high-speed link between the two processors that make up the chipset in new desktop Macintoshes, sources said. A chipset is a group of chips that manages the internal functions of a computer.

Apple is one of the founding members of the HyperTransport consortium of companies backing the standard, which includes Advanced Micro Devices, Cisco Systems and Sun Microsystems. The Mac maker declined to comment for this story.

HyperTransport 1.0 features an aggregate data transfer rate of 6.4 gigabytes to 12.8 gigabytes, depending on the configuration. This is faster than most existing chip connection technologies, a change that in turn should lead to overall better performance. HyperTransport links are one of the reasons behind the performance improvements in AMD's Opteron processor, according to company executives and others. In addition, Transmeta plans to use the standard in its upcoming TM8000 chip.

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