IBM partners to broaden Power CPU reach; more on CS' downgrade

|By:, SA News Editor

With servers running IBM's (IBM -2.2%) Power CPUs (sales -25% Y/Y in Q2) losing share to systems using Intel's (INTC -0.5%) Xeon server CPUs, IBM is forming the OpenPower Consortium, an alliance through which Big Blue will license its Power architecture and related technologies to 3rd-parties, in an effort to create a broad IT hardware ecosystem around them.

Initial partners include Nvidia (NVDA - its GPUs and CUDA computing platform will support Power), Mellanox (MLNX - InfiniBand hardware support is a good bet), Google, and Taiwanese server OEM Tyan,

Google and Tyan's support is noteworthy, given Google and many Internet peers have spurned IBM and other server giants in favor of Intel-based commodity gear made by the likes of Tyan to the specifications of Internet/cloud firms.

Google: "The consortium has the potential to establish Power architecture as a viable option for applications running within Google's data centers." Software support remains a near-term challenge.

In downgrading IBM to Underperform, Credit Suisse cites mainframe and (Power-based) UNIX hardware headwinds, weakening free cash flow, and a spending shift towards cloud services.

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