Motorola and IBM have announced a 240 MHz version of their jointly-developed PowerPC 603e microprocessor.
The chip, which is the fastest released by the two companies to date, will be used in both desktop and notebook computers, according to a company statement. The first machine to use the 603e/240 will be the SuperMac C600/240, a Macintosh clone made by Umax Computer. The company is expected to begin shipping the machines immediately.
Clone-making competitor Power Computing has also announced its intention to build computers in its PowerBase line which will be based on the new 240MHz chip.
While the chip has out-performed Intel's Pentium Pro 200MHz chip in several benchmark tests, Motorola and IBM will continue to face tough competition in the coming months as Intel is expected to continue ramping up its Pentium processors to better handle multimedia applications with video, audio and 3D. Today, Intel will announce the P55C (See Multimedia buzzword), a fast chip with multimedia instruction extensions (MMX) which Intel is calling the "next-generation Pentium".