IBM Teams With Freescale For Open Power Architecture

IBM and Freescale Semiconductor Inc. have teamed up for open standards development around IBM's Power Architecture.

K.C. Jones, Contributor

February 6, 2006

2 Min Read

IBM and Freescale Semiconductor Inc. have teamed up for open standards development around IBM's Power Architecture.

The companies announced that Freescale is joining, the point of collaboration, to accelerate innovations, lead to more customer applications and enlarge the ecosystem.

A common instruction set will help the companies develop technology for microprocessors in gaming and other consumer electronics, automotive applications, enterprise systems, supercomputers and telecommunications, John Kelly III, IBM's senior vice president of technology and intellectual property, said Monday during a news conference at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference. brings together microprocessor manufacturers, application software developers, Linux operating system distributors and providers or design and development tools.

Freescale CEO and Chairman Michel Mayer said the companies are focusing on markets that are demonstrating great growth and potential for innovation, not personal computers.

That statement and similar ones from Kelly appeared aimed at diminishing the significance of the new chip partnership between Apple and Intel.

Kelly referred to closed architecture as the old model, one which is being abandoned for greater flexibility and customization.

"Innovation is no longer centered around the PC," he said, adding that Power Architecture is at a "tipping point" toward significant expansion.

Freescale specializes in embedded chips. Mayer said that in automotives, chips are used for hundreds of thousands of lines of code for everything from engine controls to airbags and telematics.

Freescale has been named a "founding member" of, which was launched in 2004. It is also joining IBM a Power Architecture Advisory Council, which will manage the architectural roadmap and technology alignment to improve compatibility and scalability throughout the microprocessor community.

The council also will help maintain standardization throughout the process, preventing the architecture from becoming fractured, like an unwieldy 'multi-headed monster," Mayer said.

Every member will decide whether they want to bring their intellectual property into the process, Mayer said.

Mayer and Kelly dismissed questions about the Apple-Intel partnership as a problem mostly of perception, saying Apple is a small but visible customer.

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