The PowerPC architecture is an alliance between IBM, Apple and Motorola. It is primary known as the microprocessor that powers Apple computers. Since the standard was created in the 1990s, its conventions have allowed for the transition to 64 bits. The G5 processor, designed by IBM, is the first in the line to implement this functionality. It was released in June 2003.
The design was largely successful, however IBM’s inability to transfer the technology to a laptop processor, combined with the slowing rate of processor improvements, caused Apple to abandon PowerPC processors in favor of a switch to Intel.
All is not lost for the 64-bit PowerPC architecture, however. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is making the reverse switch – from Intel to PowerPC. Additionally, the forthcoming Playstation 3 and Nintendo Revolution consoles will both feature PowerPC chips.