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March 20, 2015

OpenPOWER unveils hardware set to expand data centre choice

OpenPOWER Foundation members Google, IBM, NVIDIA, and Mellanox have all helped bring the products to market.

By Joao Lima

Over ten new hardware solutions have today been announced by the OpenPOWER Foundation, including spanning systems, boards, cards, and an exclusive microprocessor for the Chinese market.

The launch will give costumers more choice, customisation and performance and has been built by OpenPOWER members including Google, Nvidia, IBM and Samsung.

The hardware will also be deplyed to hyper scale data centres around the globe.

The collaboration of technologists spans over 110 organisations and individuals across 22 countries. The group encouraged the adoption of an open server architecture for computer data centres, using IBM’s POWER solution as the core foundation in which to create a computing platform available to all.

OpenPOWER was the first to deliver a new processor designed from the ground up for Big Data and analytics workloads. The POWER8 microprocessor was understood to deliver up to 60% better performance per dollar spent on processors.

Some of the products and prototypes revealed by OpenPOWER members include the first OpenPOWER high performance computing server on the path to exascale, developed by IBM in partnership with Wistron.

The prototype includes IBM’s future delivery of two systems to Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, only two of several solutions to be introduced as part of IBM’s OpenPOWER technical computing roadmap.

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The new super server has been estimated to run five to ten times faster than current supercomputers, and it will use technology by Nvidia and Mellanox.

Coming to the market in the second quarter of this year, the TYAN TN71-BP012 will be OpenPOWER’s first commercially available server designed for large-scale cloud deployments.

A collaboration between Nvidia, Tyan and Cirrascale has also resulted in the construction of Cirrascale RM4950, the first GPU-accelerated OpenPOWER developer platform. The solution was designed to support development of GPU-accelerated big data analytics, deep learning, and scientific computing applications.

Built to give users a better performance, value and other features, Rackspace announced an open server design and prototype motherboard, combining OpenPOWER and Open Compute design concepts. The new hardware has been built to run on OpenStack services and to be used in Rackspace data centres.

China has become a big market for technology and members of the OpenPOWER Foundation have announced the development of several different products to enter the Chinese tech sector.

The most relevant presentation was the first POWER chip specifically designed for this Asian market by Chinese company PowerCore.

CP1 will be installed in a new group of servers, by Zoom Netcom. RedPower will be China’s first OpenPOWER two-socket system.

Gordon MacKean, OpenPOWER Foundation Chair, said: "Since our first public event just under one year ago, the OpenPOWER Foundation has expanded dramatically and enabled the development of a new breed of data centre technology products worldwide.

"Through our members’ individual and collective efforts we are positively changing the game, delivering innovations that advance data centre technology, expand choice and drive market efficiency."


Photo credit: Feature Photo Services


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