viva PowerPC

OpenPOWER Consortium

Eight years ago PowerPC lost its battle on the field of desktop computing when Apple went with its entire product line to Intel. This year it lost the same battle in gaming consoles industry with Sony and Microsoft leaving for AMD (and the last loyal one - Nintendo - is not making much glory with Wii U). To prevent the same scenario happening in the field of servers, IBM formed OpenPOWER Consortium together with Google, nVidia, Tyan and Mellanox.

They want to bring open server alternatives to the x86 architecture, starting with next POWER CPU generation (POWER8). IBM will maintain POWER ISA and license it in the way ARM does. nVidia will tune its CUDA parallel programming toolkit for POWER processors, so POWER-based supercomputers could take advantage of it. Tyan is well known server-class motherboard and server manufacturer, so we can probably expect some POWER-based boards with the price of a used car instead of price of a new car. Mellanox makes networking and storage equipment, so POWER will have embedded future and Google is probably considering its own POWER-based SoC chip for their data centers.

For us, desktop PowerPC users, this does not change a single thing yet. But it at least is nice to see, that our beloved architecture has some future.

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