A Year Later, OpenPower Is Well on its Way

Systems. Boards. Cards. A new microprocessor. The OpenPower Foundation just announced more than 10 hardware solutions customized for China that tap into the Power architecture to offer more choice, customization and performance to enterprise customers -- including for hyperscale data centers.

Formed about a year ago, the OpenPower Foundation is a collaboration of technologists working to drive the adoption of open server architecture. Big BlueEUs Power architecture is the cornerstone of the foundationEUs work. More than 110 entities in 22 countries have joined.

The announcements came at the organization's first OpenPower Summit, held in San Jose, California, from Tuesday through Thursday this week.

EUThrough our membersEU individual and collective efforts we are positively changing the game, delivering innovations that advance data center technology, expand choice and drive market efficiency,EU said Gordon MacKean, OpenPower foundation chairman.

A Few Firsts

IBM introduced some significant solutions, including a prototype of the first-ever OpenPower high performance computing server on the path to exascale. Using technology from Nvidia and Mellanox, Big Blue and Wistron are jointly developing the first OpenPower-based high-performance computing server. The systems are predicted to run five to 10 times faster than modern supercomputers.

Big Blue also introduced the first commercially available OpenPower server, the Tyan TN71-BP012. These servers are designed for large-scale cloud deployments. IBM will deploy the new servers as part of the SoftLayer infrastructure. The company expects the server to hit the market in the second quarter of 2015.

IBM revealed the first GPU-accelerated OpenPower developer platform, the Cirrascale RM4950. This platform was birthed from collaboration among Nvidia, Tyan and Cirrascale. Supporting development of GPU-accelerated big-data analytics, deep learning, and scientific computing applications, it will start shipping in the second quarter.

Advantage Over ARM?

We turned to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his thoughts on the OpenPower roll-outs. He told us these solutions and...

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