Through the newly forming OpenPOWER Consortium, IBM will let you pour over its POWER processor blueprints.
IBM, Google, NVIDIA, Mellanox, and Tyan are planning to bring the POWER hardware and software stack to the world through a new OpenPOWER Consortium. The open development alliance will base it efforts on IBM's POWER microprocessor architecture with the intent to help other companies build advanced server, networking, storage, and GPU-acceleration technology into a whole new generation of hyper-scalable cloud data centers.
"What we're licensing -- or enabling -- is an entire system stack. What makes OpenPOWER unique is that we're licensing the chip IP so our partners can go and build customized chips," Brad McCredie, VP and CTO of the Systems and Technology Group at IBM, told POWER IT Pro.
"We're also licensing the firmware, OS, and hypervisor -- it's open source -- and we're including an OpenPOWER access to reference designs to enable people to build systems. We're hoping this will enable innovation to do things that could not have been done before," he added.
The Three Ways of Open
In tandem with the announcement yesterday, Tom Rosamilia, senior VP of the Systems and Technology Group at IBM, blogged about OpenPOWER
on IBM's Smarter Planet blog. He noted that the new consortium's efforts will be open in three ways:
The initiative is "open" in three ways. First, we are licensing the microprocessor technology to other companies openly—meaning they get to look at the blueprints for the processor and the software that goes with it so they can take full advantage of its capabilities. The cloud service providers will be able to hire IBM or other companies to manufacture the processors and other related chips.
Second, the OpenPOWER Consortium will harness the open-collaboration business model. Companies that join will share innovations with one another and collaborate on specific technology development projects. The initial members of the consortium are Google, the search giant; Mellanox, a data center, storage and networking company; TYAN, a computer motherboard supplier; and NVIDIA, a maker of graphics accelerator chips for computers and mobile devices. The goal is to create an ecosystem of hardware and software developers to drive innovation in cloud computing.
Lastly, the initiative takes advantage of the open-source Linux operating system, which has become the operating system of choice in cloud data centers.
OpenPOWER is open to any firm that wants to innovate on the POWER platform and participate in an open, collaborative effort. For more information about the consortium and how to join contact, firstname.lastname@example.org
. The OpenPOWER web site
is live but not yet populated with any information.