IBM has formally introduced its dual-core version of the processor Apple uses to power its G5 Macs.

The new processor may appear in new Macs across the next few months. It was debuted at the Power Everywhere Forum 2005 in Japan, where the IBM also announced new low-power versions of the PowerPC 970FX (currently used in Apple's Power Mac G5s and iMac G5s).

The dual-core G5 chips (the 970MP processor) will ship in speeds between 1.4GHz to 2.5GHz. In development, the processors were code-named “Antares”.

AppleInsider explains Antares chips contain two processing units per chip. Each unit has its own execution core and 64K of Level 1 cache and 1MB Level 2 cache on board. This makes them: “Twice as efficient as IBM’s current 970FX PowerPC G5 processor”, the report points out.

The new dual-core processors have power consumption regulators built-in to regulate frequency and voltage. They can even temporarily switch off one of the cores in order to save power and minimize heat.

The new low-power PowerPC 970FX chips will run at up to 1.6Ghz. They offer 512K Level 2 cache.

More information is available in Japanese.