Google debuts IBM Power-based server board

octoberasian

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http://www.wired.com/2014/04/openpower/


The difference with ARM and Power is that any outside manufacturers can license the designs and modify them as need be. That’s not the case with Intel’s x86 architecture. The onus is on Intel to innovate. ARM has always licensed out its architecture, and now IBM has formed a group called OpenPower, where memory makers, graphics chip companies, and other component vendors can come together and help build the kind of systems that the Googles of the world are already clamoring for. “If you look at x86, x86 is not creating this open ecosystem environment to let everybody come in and innovate on their platform,” says Brad McCready, an IBM Fellow.
But he agrees that there’s one thing that can boosts innovation in the server space: competition. Two years ago, Intel didn’t have much of that. But with OpenPower and ARM pushing into the game, everything is changing. “When there’s a lot of competition. There’s a lot more product innovation,” McCarron says.
 
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FLECOM

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blah blah powerpc blah blah

let me know when it's relevant

itanium was supposed to change everything too in the not so distant past
 

niomosy

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AIX, OS/400, and Linux run POWER already. IBM is just trying to increase interest.

That's most likely where the market will stay but I'm interested in seeing what happens with OpenPower.
 

FLECOM

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me too, trust me I would not mind intel having some real competition in the datacenter, but till I can buy a poweredge with a PPC and slap CentOS in it I don't care...
 

Red Falcon

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Really interested to see where this goes.
Also, just FYI, PowerPC /= POWER. ;)
 

BinarySynapse

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Really interested to see where this goes.
Also, just FYI, PowerPC /= POWER. ;)

It kind of is, depending on what generation of the architecture you're talking about. POWER4 and up are all part of the PowerPC specification (later renamed Power ISA).
 

octoberasian

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It kind of is, depending on what generation of the architecture you're talking about. POWER4 and up are all part of the PowerPC specification (later renamed Power ISA).
Yup, basically what Ryan above said. Power ISA ended up combining all previous and older PPC versions into a newer specification.

To give you an example: If Nintendo opted for a true POWER6 or POWER7-based processor for the Wii U, though albeit cutdown for the console, and kept most features of it running at 3.2GHz and 4 cores with IBM's version of SMT (1 core equals four threads), in theory, it would have been backwards compatible with both the Xbox360 and PlayStation 3. Again, that's in theory. That's because CELL is the older version of PPC spec and POWER6 and newer are the newest versions. They would have been compatible with each other.

If PlayStation 4 ended up using a POWER7-based CPU, the console would have been backwards compatible with PlayStation 3 games if Sony allowed a dual-mode BIOS like what the Wii U has currently for both the older Wii games and newer Wii U games.
 
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