Pippin 2.0 reference design MacWEEK

Basic diagram published in MacWEEK vol.10-37 of Apple's Pippin 2.0 specification.

Pippin 2.0, also known as Pippin 1997 Reference Platform,[1] was a reference design specification prepared by Apple Computer to update the Pippin platform.[2][3]


Apple had been demonstrating the design to licensees and developers in 1996. Increased ROM space would eliminate the need to store system software on the CD-ROM, allowing diskless booting for set-top or kiosk operation.[2] The set-top box prototype combined the functionality of a game console with a satellite receiver and DVD-R drive.[4] Apple CEO Gil Amelio stated at the 1996 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference that Apple was developing its own version of Pippin that was not intended to compete with Bandai's consoles.[5] Amelio also described Apple's version of a NC device, based on the Network Computer Reference Profile, as "kind of a Pippin Plus."[6]

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs returned to the company and was named Interim CEO on September 16, 1997.[7] The Pippin was among several projects cancelled by Jobs to return Apple to profitability.[8] However, Jobs chose to retain the Macintosh NC project, which evolved into the PowerPC G3-based iMac, a breakout success for Apple in 1998.[9] Some of the other technologies, such as Firewire and DVD-ROM, reappeared as part of the iMac DV in 1999.[10]


  • 120 MHz PowerPC 603e processor.
  • 80 Hz system bus.
  • 8MB ROM with the ability to store system software or applications on EPROM.
  • Graphics acceleration with 2D, 3D, and MPEG-2 support.
  • DVD player with support for AC-3 digital audio, Photo CD, Enhanced CD, and DVD-R.
  • FireWire (IEEE 1394) to be included on the motherboard or a daughtercard.



  1. Consumer Applications of the IEEE 1394 Serial Bus, and a 1394/DV Video Editing System p.9 by Alan T. Wetzel and Michael R. Schell, Texas Instruments, Inc. 1996-06.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Options will make Pippin 2 a home, network computer by David Morgenstern, MacWeek vol.10-37. 1996-09-30. Archived 1996-12-20.
  3. Pippin次世代仕様マシンが来年デビューへ 機能選択が容易な2.0仕様。システムバス80MHzも (Japanese), MacWeek / Japan. 1996-10-01. Archived 1999-02-09.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Apple Pippin Set-top box, Studio Taktika. 2006-06-07.
  5. Pippin: Back in the USA by James Staten, MacWeek. 1996-05-16. Archived 1996-12-20.
  6. NC coalition frames plans for Net boxes by James Staten, MacWeek vol.10-21. 1996-05-27. Archived 1996-12-20.
  7. Jobs named interim Apple CEO, C|NET. 1997-09-16.
  8. For the good of the company? Five Apple products Steve Jobs killed by Casey Johnston, Ars Technica. 2011-08-25.
  9. #1 Temporal Loop - Birth of the iMac by Thomas Hormby, The Mac Observer. 2007-05-25.
  10. October 1999: iMac, iMac DV, iMac DV Special Edition by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels. 2016-06-01.

External linksEdit

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