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Linux 4.6 Begins Laying The Foundation For POWER9

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  • Linux 4.6 Begins Laying The Foundation For POWER9

    Phoronix: Linux 4.6 Begins Laying The Foundation For POWER9

    The IBM POWER architecture updates were sent in today for Linux 4.6 and includes the first early bit of work on supporting the next-generation POWER9 processors...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...6-POWER9-POWER

  • #2
    Woo! NVLink!

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    • #3
      Does anyone actually have access to POWER9 hardware? Developers, admins, governments... anyone?

      Intel is so boring. I would love to be able to buy a laptop / workstation with POWER hardware (and a proper standard boot system unlike ARM).

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      • #4
        Hardware? I haven't even seen PowerISA v.3 docs online. The latest open ones you can get is 2.7B off https://www.power.org/documentation/power-isa-v-2-07b/
        The link to 3.0 (http://ibm.co/1SyPMlO from http://openpowerfoundation.org/blogs/power-3-0/) requires an IBM id... Anyone keeping a little blade server for the odd print job and wants to look it up?

        Edit: Another dead-end: http://ibm.biz/power-isa3 from http://www.carlosseo.com/2015/12/07/...-00-available/

        Edit 2: Here we go: http://docdro.id/tWT7hjD
        Last edited by c117152; 03-18-2016, 08:59 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
          Intel is so boring. I would love to be able to buy a laptop / workstation with POWER hardware (and a proper standard boot system unlike ARM).
          You can (or will soon be able to):

          http://openpowerfoundation.org/blogs/blogpost1/

          And also:

          http://www.techrepublic.com/article/...8-workstation/

          Bear in mind however that since the advent of amd64, the intel/amd platform has lost a lot of its "ugliness". The POWER8 is a monster for sure, but it's emphatically NOT an unequivocally "nicer" piece of hardware. Current PC are actually damn good machines in many ways.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jacob View Post
            Bear in mind however that since the advent of amd64, the intel/amd platform has lost a lot of its "ugliness". The POWER8 is a monster for sure, but it's emphatically NOT an unequivocally "nicer" piece of hardware. Current PC are actually damn good machines in many ways.
            It's "nicer" in the sense of "NOT fucking hardware-backdoored".

            "Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT) out-of-band maintenance utility is the subject of serious concern among security experts for being backdoor accessible even when the computer is turned off (PDF). The signing keys for updates are held by Intel, making it impossible to completely validate the security of the processor, or for users to install their own updates. Similar concerns exist for other binary blobs (like the system BIOS) which are not auditable on general hardware. The China POWER Technology Alliance (CPTA) was founded as a public-private partnership to accelerate the adoption of POWER8 as the preferred platform due to its openness and auditability, amid concerns with Intel hardware. "
            AMD isn't much better in this regard, they have their own system too.

            Hell, they make ARM look good in comparison.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
              Does anyone actually have access to POWER9 hardware? Developers, admins, governments... anyone?
              Well, POWER9 is rather new, don't know about that...
              Generally, while rarely found today in consumer electronics, the POWER-Architecture is very common in airplane systems and spacecraft. Of course, not performance, but long support (30 years is a typical number for aircraft -- try to find an x86 or ARM processor for that...), realiability and the (low) number of (unknown) bugs are key here.
              It is not unlikely to find a 10-year-old POWER-processor model, once intended for MacBooks, in modern aircraft.

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