Part of the Personal computing glossary:

Rosetta is a translation program that makes it possible to run most PowerPC application programs on Intel-based Macintosh computers as non-native binary code. When an application is run using Rosetta, the translation is not apparent to the application user.

When using an application through Rosetta, the user may notice that the application runs more slowly than it would on a PowerPC-based computer with similar clock speed and memory. The difference is smallest with applications that demand the least processing power, such as word processors and spreadsheets, and greater with applications that have complex user interaction, such as high-end graphics programs.

Applications that involve processor-intensive functions, such as ray tracing, high-end gaming, and 3-D modeling, are incompatible with Rosetta, as are applications built for Mac OS 8 or 9, the Classic environment, code written specifically for AltiVec, applications that require G4 or G5 processors, and kernelRosettaNet is an organization set up by leading information technology companies to define and implement a common set of standards for e-business.

This was last updated in July 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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