Libre/Open-Source POWER10 Hardware Systems Unlikely Until At Least 2022
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 August 2020 at 11:08 AM EDT. 24 Comments
HARDWARE --
While Raptor Computing Systems has been making fabulous 100% open-source/libre hardware systems based around POWER9 with the likes of their Talos II and Blackbird systems, don't hold your breath on quickly seeing fully-open POWER10 systems even with "OpenPOWER" being trumpeted in recent years and similar for being more open-source friendly than the likes of Intel and AMD.

IBM today announced POWER10 for shipping in H2'2021. But as mentioned in that article, seeing "libre" POWER10 hardware might not come so quickly. Unfortunately that was confirmed this morning by Raptor that any POWER10 platforms from them will not come until at least 2022.

Due to NDAs or other legal reasons they cannot discuss further until the official POWER10 release for why they won't be able to provide POWER10 systems in 2021. We previously heard that due to some poor judgement at IBM the POWER10 processors may be less open-source friendly, at least initially, while now Raptor confirmed via Twitter. They did follow up that the delay is not on their side / under their control but in the mean time they do have some new OpenPOWER hardware in the works.

So for at least the next year and a half, Raptor's POWER9 wares appear to be in the best shape for providing high-end, fully open-source down to the BIOS/firmware and board schematics. It's a shame though that due to whatever is going on at IBM that there will seemingly not be any fully-open platforms at launch for these next-gen 7nm CPUs.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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