Raptor Computing Systems Planning To Launch New ATX POWER9 Board With OpenCAPI

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 20 August 2019 at 07:10 PM EDT. 9 Comments
In addition to the news out of the OpenPOWER Summit in San Diego that the POWER ISA is going open-source and the OpenPOWER Foundation becoming part of the Linux Foundation, Raptor Computing Systems shared they plan to launch a new standard ATX motherboard next year that will feature OpenCAPI connectivity.

Built off the successes of their Talos II high-end server motherboard and lower-cost Blackbird desktop motherboard designs, there is apparently a new motherboard design for POWER9 being worked on that could launch in early 2020.

The prominent difference with the forthcoming Raptor Computing Systems motherboard is that it will feature OpenCAPI, the newer Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface standard backed by IBM as well as AMD, Google, and others like NVIDIA and Xilinx. The newer OpenCAPI revisions OpenCAPI is a high performance bus alternative to PCI Express and others for connecting accelerators and I/O devices. IBM POWER9 has already been leading with their NVLink and PCI Express 4.0 support ahead of others while now Raptor Computing Systems looks to be one of the first prominent motherboards with modern OpenCAPI support.

IBM engineers have already been working on OpenCAPI driver bits for the past three or so years. There still aren't many OpenCAPI devices available (any in traditional retail channels?) but will be interesting to see how it changes in 2020.

We're certainly eager to hear more about this OpenCAPI-enabled Raptor POWER9 motherboard as its release approaches in 2020. Given OpenCAPI's high performance target and being new tech plus being a standard ATX design, presumably this new motherboard will retail for more than the existing microATX Blackbird. Like their existing products, it will be open-source down to the firmware.
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