IBM intros next-gen Power8 microprocessor, servers along with OpenPower roadmap

IBM boasted it took more than three years of development -- not to mention $2.4 billion in investment -- as well as "hundreds" of patents to produce Power8.


IBM has introduced the next generation of its Power Systems architecture and servers for crunching unstructured big data from sensors and mobile devices.

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Power8, the code name for the new family consisting of both a new microprocessor as well as lineup of servers, is touted to be able to analyze big data up to 50 times faster than commodity servers.

Unveiled during a media presentation on Wednesday morning, IBM's Power portfolio has been pegged as the "cornerstone" of the tech giant's OpenPOWER Foundation for promoting open technologies for powering data datacenters.

The Foundation has blossomed to encompass 25 global technology providers to date, including Google and Nvidia.

After establishing itself last December for the sharing of best practices as well as intellectual property, the collective revealed its first roadmap, which starts with making IBM Power hardware and software available for open development as well as making the platform's IP available for licensing to other manufacturers.

Nvidia, for example, has already implemented Power solutions with its own GPU portfolio and accelerator framework for Java, which the processor giant revealed already gave way to up to eight times better performance on Hadoop Analytics applications. 

Micron, Samsung, and SK Hynix have also mentioned plans to utilize open Power technology within their respective memory and storage products.

Built on an open server model itself, Power8 also includes IBM's new Power Systems S Class servers, designed specifically for scale-out cloud computing environments.

Big Blue boasted it took more than three years of development -- not to mention $2.4 billion in investment -- as well as "hundreds" of patents to produce Power8.

Making good on a previous $1 billion investment announced last year, IBM followed up with a pair of Linux-focused developments, starting with making Canonical's Ubuntu Server available on all POWER8 systems. IBM also introduced PowerKVM, a Power Systems version of the Linux-based virtualization tool KVM.


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