IBM Unveils Power8 Chip As Open Hardware - InformationWeek

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4/23/2014
11:10 AM
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IBM Unveils Power8 Chip As Open Hardware

Google and other OpenPower Foundation partners express interest in IBM's Power8 chip designs and server motherboard specs.

OpenPower's model.
OpenPower's model.

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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
4/23/2014 | 1:43:57 PM
Power architecture delivers more per watt
To reduce this discussion to simplistic terms: Power costs more than x86, but for the space and power used, it delivers more per watt. This didn't use to matter as much as being able to get a new piece of hardware at low cost on which to run an application. And indeed IBM makes no mention of Power's efficient energy consumption in this announcement. But in the cloud, space and power consumed matter. IBM is bidding for a bigger future for its Power archiectecture. Google is standing alongside it, for what purpose, I don't know. But it could be more than just some specialized big data handling.
tresfou
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tresfou,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/23/2014 | 2:37:48 PM
CAPI ?
I think that CAPI stands for something else - Coherent Attached Processor interface. 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
4/23/2014 | 3:06:26 PM
IBM Needs To Spread the Power Investment
Designing and building chips is an expensive proposition, so IBM needs to spread the invetment as broadly as it can. With Unix server sales declining and with Z systems encroaching a bit from above (with workload consolidation) and X86 moving up from below, Power is squeezed in the middle. IBM really had to look outside of its own universe for more Power-related revenue opportunities, even if it's not building the chips or servers.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
4/23/2014 | 3:17:27 PM
Re: CAPI?
Thanks to tresfou below for pointing out that what CAPI stands for was not spelled out correctly. It should be: Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface. The reporter is misreading his own shorthand.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
4/24/2014 | 2:02:33 PM
How is OpenPower different from OpenCompute?
IBM would like OpenPower to be viewed as the equivalent of Facebook's Open Compute Project and Open Compute Foundation for the x86 architecture. How is it different? For one thing, I don't see major users, such as Fidelity Investments or Goldman Sachs, included.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2014 | 8:47:26 PM
Re: How is OpenPower different from OpenCompute?
Would companies need to pay IBM for fabrication rights? If yes, then "Open" should be viewed as the ability to modify a chip for better utilization. It could be that the Power architecture's business model is becoming like ARM i.e. they would like to design chips and leave fabrication (modification) to someone else. 
BeeR435
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BeeR435,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/27/2014 | 2:35:25 PM
POWER 8
Nice to see the Power architecture/technology still going and evolving.  This may not be for everyone - or even a majority, yet it does not have to be ... it is always good to have promising alternatives and alternate solutions.

It does sound like IBM's Power is turning into more of an ARM style 'ecosystm' where they build and test the design and others license and actually make a product from this.  I also think nVidia does this (or  used to) with their graphics cards.

And as someone said, 'compute per watt' is important ... it does cost a lot to keep those data centers running cool (and keep the equipment in the safe zone).
anon3765816516
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anon3765816516,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/27/2014 | 3:37:38 PM
how many transistors does the chip have?
I have read in other articles that the chip contains 2.1 billion transistors.  Your number is twice that.  Which is correct.
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