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IBM To Throw Another $1 Billion USD Towards Linux

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  • IBM To Throw Another $1 Billion USD Towards Linux

    Phoronix: IBM To Throw Another $1 Billion USD Towards Linux

    Yesterday's exciting news from LinuxCon NA 2013 was Gabe Newell's keynote where he talked about Linux as the future of gaming and exciting news coming next week. Today the interesting topic at LinuxCon is about IBM investing another billion dollars towards Linux and promoting its POWER architecture...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQ2Mzk

  • #2
    This is pretty good news. IBM has made some pretty crucial improvements to linux. If it weren't for them, linux would likely be in a much more unstable and under-developed state. While most of their changes are server and/or hardware specific, there's always something that affects the average user.

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    • #3
      I'm all for IBM backing Linux but POWER hasn't really been a relevant architecture for a long time. The last industry I saw it being used in was Defense - a lot of electronics in weapons systems and vehicles were running on embedded POWER CPUs - and that was because low-powered x86 alternatives didn't exist at the time.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TheLexMachine View Post
        I'm all for IBM backing Linux but POWER hasn't really been a relevant architecture for a long time. The last industry I saw it being used in was Defense - a lot of electronics in weapons systems and vehicles were running on embedded POWER CPUs - and that was because low-powered x86 alternatives didn't exist at the time.
        Wii & Wii U, 360, even PS3 use POWER right? Or is there a difference between POWER and PowerPC?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TheLexMachine View Post
          I'm all for IBM backing Linux but POWER hasn't really been a relevant architecture for a long time. The last industry I saw it being used in was Defense - a lot of electronics in weapons systems and vehicles were running on embedded POWER CPUs - and that was because low-powered x86 alternatives didn't exist at the time.


          First place: Loongson-L3C(~10dmips/mhz)+Linux+Qemu_Wine+VivanteGPU on a phone.

          Second place: Power8(10+dmips/mhz)+Linux+LX-x86_Wine on a phone.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TheLexMachine View Post
            I'm all for IBM backing Linux but POWER hasn't really been a relevant architecture for a long time. The last industry I saw it being used in was Defense - a lot of electronics in weapons systems and vehicles were running on embedded POWER CPUs - and that was because low-powered x86 alternatives didn't exist at the time.
            Low-powered ARM did exist back then.
            Wasn't POWER used in defense when high-performance was needed?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TheLexMachine View Post
              I'm all for IBM backing Linux but POWER hasn't really been a relevant architecture for a long time. The last industry I saw it being used in was Defense - a lot of electronics in weapons systems and vehicles were running on embedded POWER CPUs - and that was because low-powered x86 alternatives didn't exist at the time.
              Actually its used heavily in the embedded world and is also very popular in communications systems. Having 32 GPRs and 32 FPRs defined in the architecture allows for a lot of values to be passed by register in the ABI making it fast. That is one reason it does so well when used in supercomputers.

              Also note the PowerPC arch is not considered very power efficient. It was built for speed.

              Edit: I for got to mention it was designed as a 64 bit architecture from the start instead of kludging instruction sets in later
              Last edited by Obscene_CNN; 09-17-2013, 06:23 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by uid313 View Post
                Low-powered ARM did exist back then.
                Wasn't POWER used in defense when high-performance was needed?
                Yes, ARM has been around for a long time, but only recently has it gotten fast enough to be used to power a practical computer (as opposed to a cell phone). Not long ago, I bought an ARM-based Odroid-X board (see hardkernel.com) and have been running Linux on it. I find it at least as fast as my Intel-based netbook computer.

                What will really bring ARM boards into being as a competitive server will be when 64-bit ARM chips become available. As I understand it, we should be seeing those within the next year. Definitely something to look forward to. I hope that IBM is paying attention to this alternative. The Power boards may be high-performance, but they're not something I would want to own - my electric bill is something I carefully consider when buying tech gear. Even big companies like Google consider power consumption these days.

                I do thank IBM for the investment they've made in Linux. If they play their cards right, they could turn it into something big.

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