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

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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Comments (2)
  • fingel
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
    This is interesting. Looks like IBM is taking a page out of ARMH's book. Licensing their architecture to others could be an interesting development in the server space. I wonder if Apple would consider licensing the architecture in order to design their own chips? They used to use power chips before switching over to Intel so I don't think updating OSX to run with those chips would be that difficult. They seem to want to pull everything in-house so this wouldn't be inconsistent with their philosophy.
    6 Aug 2013, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • stoj
    , contributor
    Comments (775) | Send Message
    IBM is already lending out "calculating power", via cloud-like sharing. That is the only way to move out of it's hardware death-trap, which will soon only merit calculations per energy cost. ( regardless of brand-name or assurances )
    6 Aug 2013, 04:45 PM Reply Like
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