PowerPC is a RISC microprocessor architecture created by the 1991 Apple–IBM–Motorola alliance, known as AIM. Originally intended for personal computers, PowerPC CPUs have since become popular embedded and high-performance processors as well. PowerPC was the cornerstone of AIM's PReP and Common Hardware Reference Platform initiatives in the 1990s, but the architecture found the most success in the personal computer market in Apple's Macintosh lines from 1994 to 2006 (before Apple's transition to Intel).
PowerPC is largely based on IBM's earlier POWER architecture, and retains a high level of compatibility with it; the architectures have remained close enough that the same programs and operating systems will run on both if some care is taken in preparation; newer chips in the POWER series implement the full PowerPC instruction set.
Today, SOCs are available for embedded applications based on the PowerPC architecture, e. g. the Freescale MPC5200 and the PPC405 GP.