IBM will discuss its 64-bit PowerPC chip at the Microprocessor Forum, being held later this month.

The 64-bit chip has attracted much attention from Macintosh and Linux communities.

Senior editor of US publication Microprocessor Report Kevin Krewell said the chip is "the natural upgrade path for the Apple community", though it is expected to begin its life in low-end servers, and appear in workstations over time.

The processor will ship in the second half of 2003. An IBM spokesman would not confirm the shipping date, citing the company's policy of not discussing unannounced information.

Other companies set to demonstrate their latest designs at the forum include Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Via Technologies, Fujitsu, and Cisco Systems.

The Microprocessor Forum runs from October 14-18 in San Jose, California.