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IBM Begins Plumbing "Future" Processor Into GCC Compiler - POWER10?

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  • IBM Begins Plumbing "Future" Processor Into GCC Compiler - POWER10?

    Phoronix: IBM Begins Plumbing "Future" Processor Into GCC Compiler - POWER10?

    IBM engineers have landed initial support for "-mcpu=future" into the GCC compiler... As they say in the commit message, "a future architecture level, as yet unnamed."..

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ure-GCC-Target

  • #2
    Power 10 should be on Samsung's 7nm LPP node, at least that is what IBM announced back in December last year: https://newsroom.ibm.com/2018-12-20-...-Manufacturing

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    • #3
      Really genius step because of its simplicity, processor would be build for compiler ... "hardware for software"

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      • #4
        Why doesn't IBM just make x86_64 processors and compete with Intel and AMD?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by czz0 View Post
          Why doesn't IBM just make x86_64 processors and compete with Intel and AMD?
          They did manufacture Cyrix x86 CPUs once and thus indirectly had a foot in the door in the x86 market, but that time is long gone. I guess it still comes down to patents and licencing, Intel won't hand a x86 license to them. Nvidia asked around 10 years ago, but they didn't get it. AMD and Intel are cross-licensing their x86 and AMD64 technology. And for some reason AMD and VIA (via buying IDT and Cyrix) got one in the past.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ms178 View Post

            They did manufacture Cyrix x86 CPUs once and thus indirectly had a foot in the door in the x86 market, but that time is long gone. I guess it still comes down to patents and licencing, Intel won't hand a x86 license to them. Nvidia asked around 10 years ago, but they didn't get it. AMD and Intel are cross-licensing their x86 and AMD64 technology. And for some reason AMD and VIA (via buying IDT and Cyrix) got one in the past.
            AFAIK IBM sold off their fabs and I'd guess that the licences may have went with them, or were nullified. Anyway it is always good to see some competition and options in the CPU arena.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by danielnez1 View Post

              AFAIK IBM sold off their fabs and I'd guess that the licences may have went with them, or were nullified. Anyway it is always good to see some competition and options in the CPU arena.
              Appearently IBM did have a foundry license from Intel at one point in history. But that would not cover the IP to design their own x86-compatible CPU, hence their business partnership with Cyrix. But the case with Cyrix is a bit more complicated as they originally had no license. The entry on Cyrix on Wikipedia is quite informative in this regard:"In the end after all appeals, the courts ruled that Cyrix had the right to produce their own x86 designs in any foundry that held an Intel license. Cyrix was found to never have infringed any patent held by Intel. Intel feared having to face the antitrust claims made by Cyrix, so Intel paid Cyrix $12 million to settle the antitrust claims right before a federal jury in Sherman, Texas was to hear and rule on the antitrust claims. As a part of the settlement of the antitrust claims against Intel, Cyrix also received a license to some of the patents that Intel had asserted that Cyrix infringed. Cyrix was free to have their products manufactured by any manufacturer that had a cross license with Intel..."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ms178 View Post

                Appearently IBM did have a foundry license from Intel at one point in history. But that would not cover the IP to design their own x86-compatible CPU, hence their business partnership with Cyrix. But the case with Cyrix is a bit more complicated as they originally had no license. The entry on Cyrix on Wikipedia is quite informative in this regard:"In the end after all appeals, the courts ruled that Cyrix had the right to produce their own x86 designs in any foundry that held an Intel license. Cyrix was found to never have infringed any patent held by Intel. Intel feared having to face the antitrust claims made by Cyrix, so Intel paid Cyrix $12 million to settle the antitrust claims right before a federal jury in Sherman, Texas was to hear and rule on the antitrust claims. As a part of the settlement of the antitrust claims against Intel, Cyrix also received a license to some of the patents that Intel had asserted that Cyrix infringed. Cyrix was free to have their products manufactured by any manufacturer that had a cross license with Intel..."
                That rings a bell. I guess at the time, if IBM were serious in x86 at that time they would have purchased Cyrix outright to capitalise on the post 486 "Pentium" CPUs for the PC platform. Thought at the time POWER/PowerPC was their main CPU focus (which they totally dropped the ball on IMHO, despite the fact that the Apple branded G3 and G4 [and the later Cell] were decent CPUs for the time).

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                • #9
                  IBM's strategy at that time is a mystery for me. Why did they enter the agreement with Cyrix in the first place? As a backup plan if POWER would not do so well to minimize technical risk? They not only ended up competing with their CPU partner but with their own POWER chips as well. I guess they saw POWER as more viable business after all and dropped the x86 CPU plans at that time to focus on POWER for the desktop and server market. Maybe they didn't want to compete with Intel on their ISA either.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by czz0 View Post
                    Why doesn't IBM just make x86_64 processors and compete with Intel and AMD?
                    For better or worse, IBM is a government-corporate rotating door business (a.k.a military industrial complex). They don't target markets that work with consumers unless the infrastructure and regulations are centralized enough for them to be able to leverage their political ties. When the x86 became a global consumer market IBM left it to Intel. When Cloud computing started centralizing on huge farms and infrastructure that follow municipal tax-cuts, they started going into it again.

                    Well, that was true before Huawei... Now there are hundreds of Chinese corporations and a few pissed off governments that consider their reliance on American IP and closed source software and platforms as a liability and would look more favorably on OpenPOWER and RISC-V... But if that ends up getting through the IBM execs remains to be seen.

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