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Not All Of The IBM POWER10 Firmware Is Currently Open-Source

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  • Not All Of The IBM POWER10 Firmware Is Currently Open-Source

    Phoronix: Not All Of The IBM POWER10 Firmware Is Currently Open-Source

    Power E1080 server as their first in a new family of servers based on the IBM POWER10 processor. Sadly though not all of the POWER10 firmware is open-source...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...ot-All-Open-FW

  • #2
    Almost free is not good enough. I wouldn't wait anymore for IBM to fix things. They couldn't or didn't want to keep their main advantage. Now they have to compete on price and features alone in the unattractive market of unownable hardware. I hope Blackbirds become available again soon and let's use P9. It's powerful enough.
    Last edited by phoron; 08 September 2021, 02:36 PM.

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    • #3
      Kinda sad for Raptor, one of their main selling points is the open source aspect, and they don't have any control over their Only cpu manufacturer. They depend on IBM's whims.

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      • #4
        Both blobs are unsurprisingly connected to IP core designer Synopsys. I suspect they put some non-disclosure clause in contract.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ezekrb5 View Post
          Kinda sad for Raptor, one of their main selling points is the open source aspect, and they don't have any control over their Only cpu manufacturer. They depend on IBM's whims.
          Sounds like the entire open-source community to be fair. But we do what we can!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by phoron View Post
            Almost free is not good enough. I wouldn't wait anymore for IBM to fix things. They couldn't or didn't want to keep their main advantage. Now they have to compete on price and featues alone in the unattractive market of unownable hardware. I hope Blackbirds become available again soon and let's use P9. It's powerful enough.
            Still better than the x86 space where none outside of a (very) few systems that can run Coreboot are open source - and even then you need blobs. Praise where it's justified. Don't toss the whole baby out in a tantrum. Course it's not like many people, nor many corporations either, can justify the costs of POWER systems even if they can afford it.

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            • #7
              Well, I have no idea of Raptor situation, but I choose to be relatively optimistic. It's true that they don't have a new flashy P10 to offer, I hope they didn't spend too much effort designing for it (they seem to have noticed the problem early on, so they may have wasted time studying P10 but maybe not developing a motherboard). Now the big question is how longer IBM is going to offer P9's. But blackbirds and talos will still be the most powerful free systems for a long time, so if they can, they should simply concentrate in producing more of them and see if they can lower some price. LibreSOC, Rockchip or some RISCV might progress in performance or something, but they are unlikely to overcome P9 anytime soon.
              Now this is just daydreaming but it would be nice if P9 outsales P10 because of the lost freedom.
              Last edited by phoron; 08 September 2021, 02:37 PM.

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              • #8
                This doesn't change my plans. I've bought my last x86 CPU and will keep my 2600X and my i7-6700 going until I can go to a Raptor system with a Power9 chip.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by phoron View Post
                  Now this is just daydreaming but it would be nice if P9 outsales P10 because of the lost freedom.
                  Those who purchase Power systems in the numbers and (very large) configurations that matter (and hobbyist numbers are completely irrelevant to the bottom line here) will start to purchase P10 based systems to solve their business needs. IBM will, as always, continue to offer previous gen systems where they make sense for customers, but a fair percentage of the new money will go to P10 based systems.

                  btw, last I knew, you could download a configurator from IBM to configure your very own Power system with list pricing. Of course, when you are buying hundreds of racks some addition discounts may be available to you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by phoron View Post
                    Almost free is not good enough. I wouldn't wait anymore for IBM to fix things. They couldn't or didn't want to keep their main advantage. Now they have to compete on price and features alone in the unattractive market of unownable hardware. I hope Blackbirds become available again soon and let's use P9. It's powerful enough.
                    As opposed to the other options... oh wait, there are none.

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