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IBM, Xilinx forge pact to bolster OpenPOWER

The goal of the Xilinx-IBM partnership is to give developers acceleration tools, software and middleware to better handle new workloads.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

IBM and Xilinx on Monday said they have forged a multi-year partnership designed to bring workload acceleration to Big Blue's POWER-based systems as well as the OpenPOWER Foundation.

The goal of the Xilinx-IBM partnership is to give developers acceleration tools, software and middleware to better handle machine learning, network functions virtualization, big data and high-performance computing.

These workloads are increasingly using Xilinx's programmable processors to accelerate infrastructure. IBM is looking to expand its footprint for next-gen data center workloads. Intel earlier this year bought Altera largely for its programmable processors and accelerators.

Also: IBM launches SuperVessel, a free OpenPOWER cloud service |

Under the deal, IBM developers will create stacks for POWER systems using Xilinx accelerators and tie them into OpenStack, Docker and Spark. Xilinx will create POWER versions of its software tools. Xilinx has also become an OpenPOWER Foundation member.

The Xilinx partnership is the headliner in a series of POWER and OpenPOWER moves. OpenPOWER was created as a counterweight to Intel's dominance in the data center.

Other OpenPOWER moves include:

  • Mellanox rolled out its first smart network switch for OpenPOWER architecture.
  • NEC also will use IBM's coherent accelerator processor interface and said its ExpEther Technology was available.
  • E4 Computer Engineering and Penguin Computing launched new systems based on OpenPOWER designs using IBM's Power8 processors and Nvidia's GPUs.
  • IBM ported Internet of things, big data and cognitive applications to OpenPOWER.
  • IBM and its OpenPOWER members also launched a series of developer tools as well as computing clusters for academics.
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