Technical Web site Ars Technica has published the second part of its in-depth examination of IBM's much-discussed PowerPC 970 processor.

Earlier this week, US business magazine said: "Rumours are starting to build that Apple is closer than previously thought to releasing a computer with a new chip produced by IBM".

The processor is widely thought to be one of the options Apple has looked at in its attempts to improve Macintosh performance.

The Ars Technica report - which extends to 11,000 words of in-depth analysis concludes: "Turning to Apple's use of the 970, I believe that Apple is poised for a huge overhaul of its hardware line based on this processor and a renewed relationship with IBM."

Microprocessor Review senior editor Tom Hafill has previously told Macworld: "The 970 is such an obvious improvement over today's G4 chips that it's hard to imagine Apple using anything else in its top-of-the-line desktop Macs."

Ars Technica continues: "Users will be able to see the Mac as a real option again in terms of desktop, and not just portable, performance."

Despite widespread expectation that Apple may make a move to IBM's processor - perhaps announcing its plans as soon as next month, Apple has issued no response to the rumours.

Apple does not comment on rumour or unannounced products.