Motorola has released more details of its next-generation PowerPC processor - the G5 - and updated its PowerPC road map.

Apple employs Motorola's G3 and G4 microprocessors in Macs, though some are manufactured under license by IBM. Motorola told analysts last week that it plans to arrange more such technology-licensing deals in future.

The Register claims the chip will be called the 8500. However, the company has dropped the 75xx name from the product line, which it shared with previous generations of the G series microprocessor.

Embedded priority Analysts claim this could represent a strategic shift to focus on embedded processors by the company, as it tries to return its semiconductor unit to profitability. The majority of Motorola's semiconductor sales already stem from the embedded market.

It's noted that the G5 now has symmetric processing, faster Input/Output support, and will be manufactured using Motorola's silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology at 0.13 microns.

The 0.13-micron SOI fabrication means the chips should deliver faster speeds at cooler temperatures than other processors available from other manufacturers, including Intel.

In the pipeline Motorola has also confirmed that the G5 will support an extensible architecture, a new, faster pipeline, and be available in both 32- and 64- bit varieties.

The company has also revised its estimates for clock speeds for the new processor - from 2GHz+ to between 800MHz and 2GHz+. The company has always promised speeds in excess of 2GHz at the end of the G5 processor's life.

Micron machine In November, Motorola announced the G5 family would have a new instruction pipeline and bus topology, and would employ a 0.10 micron, rather than 0.13 micron manufacturing process with SOI.

Motorola said: "Motorola’s implementation of the architecture across a wide range of instruction-set compatible, high-performance CPUs and highly-integrated MPUs (microprocessor unit) provides a long-term growth path for innovative companies seeking a competitive advantage in today’s embedded-applications market."

Despite the challenges Motorola faces in a softening market, the company maintains that it's committed to the PowerPC. It describes itself as "fully dedicated" to the architecture.