IBM offers POWER technology for open development, IP to be licensable
Aims to create new styles of server hardware for various computing workloads
GOOGLE, IBM, Mellanox, NVIDIA and Tyan have announced plans to form the OpenPOWER Consortium that they said would deliver more choice, control and flexibility to developers of next-generation, hyperscale and cloud data centres.
The open development alliance aims to build advanced server, networking, storage and GPU-acceleration technology based on IBM's POWER (Performance Optimised With Enhanced RISC or Reduced Instruction Set Computing) microprocessor architecture.
POWER hardware and software would be made available to open development for the first time as well, and POWER intellectual property would be licensable to others, which IBM said would greatly expand the ecosystem of innovators on the platform.
The consortium will offer open-source POWER firmware, the software that controls basic chip functions. By doing this, IBM and the consortium believe they can offer unprecedented customisation in creating new styles of server hardware for a variety of computing workloads.
“The founding members of the OpenPOWER Consortium represent the next generation in data centre innovation,” said Steve Mills (pic), senior vice president and group executive at IBM Software & Systems.
“Combining our talents and assets around the POWER architecture can greatly increase the rate of innovation throughout the industry. Developers now have access to an expanded and open set of server technologies for the first time.
This type of ‘collaborative development’ model will change the way data centre hardware is designed and deployed,” he added.
The OpenPOWER Consortium’s mission is to further accelerate the rate of innovation, performance and efficiency for advanced data centre solutions, according to Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies.
“Open source and community development are key to enabling innovative computer platforms and better serve the scalable and emerging applications in the areas of high-performance, Web 2.0 and cloud computing,” he said.
As part of their initial collaboration within the consortium, NVIDIA and IBM will work together to integrate the CUDA GPU and POWER ecosystems.
“The OpenPOWER Consortium brings together an ecosystem of hardware, system software, and enterprise applications that will provide powerful computing systems based on NVIDIA GPUs and POWER CPUs (graphic and central processing units),” said Sumit Gupta, general manager of the Tesla Accelerated Computing Business at NVIDIA.
"OpenPOWER will bring a new wave of innovation to next-generation data centers," said Albert Mu, general manager of Tyan Computer and vice president of MiTAC International Corp.
"A strong ecosystem built around OpenPOWER will bring a range of new technology choices to market, offering more capabilities for Tyan's customers,” he added.
OpenPOWER is open to any firm that wants to innovate on the POWER platform and participate in an open, collaborative effort. For more information about the consortium and how to join, contact, [email protected].
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