PCWorld.com has published a piece looking at the appearance of 64-bit computing, and confirmed earlier reports that Mac OS X 10.3 Panther will not be a true 64-bit operating system.

Apple vice president of hardware product marketing Greg Joswiak told the title that Panther will support 32-bit applications, with the ability to make 64-bit requests from the processor.

"The important thing for us is we didn't want to create a separate OS that is 64 bits," Joswiak said: "What is essential is that this OS and this hardware will run 32-bit applications with no recompiling – it will just run them."

"64-bit computing will give programmers much more power to play with, and could revolutionize what desktop software can do," the title reports.

Apple's new G5 Power Macs are built on IBM's 64-bit Power PC 970 processor, which IBM has not yet begun manufacturing at its $2.5 billion manufacturing plant in New York, "but it takes no time at all to get a new chip into the line," InfoWorld reports.

Discussing IBM's fabrication plant, InfoWorld's Tom Yager reports: "I can't convey the awe I felt when I toured the facility. It looked like a sci-fi movie set, or an artist's animated mock-up of how chips might be made in 20 years.

"But as impressed as I was watching the robotic carts gliding on tracks overhead and platters spinning inside huge machines, I looked around the joint and saw money. Not the money IBM spent, although that sum is dizzying. I saw all the money this fab will make when it's completely operational. IBM is building the Death Star of the semiconductor industry."