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IBM Opens Up POWER Architecture For Licensing

Hardware

Published on 07 August 2013 09:44 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
47 Comments

IBM is now following in the steps of ARM Holdings and has decided to allow for licensing of their CPU architecture. IBM and a group of other companies wanting a stake in IBM's POWER architecture have also founded the OpenPOWER Consortium group.

IBM will basically be opening up the POWER architecture and allow third-parties now to make their own customizations and chips based upon POWER -- similar to how many companies are pushing out their own ARM Systems-on-a-Chip.

The companies joining IBM in the OpenPOWER Consortium include Google, Mellanox, NVIDIA and Tyan. In regards to NVIDIA's interest in POWER, they are wanting to integrate CUDA GPU and POWER together for some impressive high-performance computing (HPC) potential. Tyan is seeking to put out their own POWER motherboards.

IBM's press release notes, "The move makes POWER hardware and software available to open development for the first time as well as making POWER IP licensable to others, greatly expanding the ecosystem of innovators on the platform. The consortium will offer open-source POWER firmware, the software that controls basic chip functions. By doing this, IBM and the consortium can offer unprecedented customization in creating new styles of server hardware for a variety of computing workloads."

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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