IBM Power7 @ Hot Chips 21 conference: 1.2B Transistors


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IBM Power7 hot topic at Hot Chips conference
by Brooke Crothers

The Hot Chips conference in Palo Alto, Calif this week is focusing on
high-end chips for servers and scientific computers, with IBM's
upcoming Power7 as a standout.

On Tuesday, IBM will give a presentation on its next-generation server
chip, the Power7. IBM documentation describes the chip as having up to
eight cores. A dual-chip module holds two processors for a total of 16
cores, according to IBM.

Each core has a rated performance of 32 gigaflops, providing 256
gigaflops per processor--one of the fastest chips to date based on
this scientific-centric performance benchmark.

Power7 will be used in the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications "Blue Waters" supercomputer, the first system of its kind
to sustain one petaflop performance on a range of science and
engineering applications, according to the NCSA. A petaflop is one
quadrillion floating point operations per second.

Power7 "will be the first of a powerful new system design from IBM.
The design includes extensive research and development in new chip
technology, interconnect technology, operating systems, compiler, and
programming environments," according to the NCSA.

Other chips to be described at the conference include the Sparc64
VIIIfx: Fujitsu's new 8-core processor for Peta scale computing. Sun
will discuss its "next-generation multi-threaded processor Rainbow
Falls" and AMD will spell out its Magny Cours processor, 12-core chip.

Intel will present a paper on its upcoming Nehalem server processor.

Intel will also discuss Moorestown, an upcoming version of the Atom
processor targeted at mobile Internet devices and smartphones. Intel
will also give a presentation entitled "Understanding the Intel Next
Generation Microarchitectures (Nehalem and Westmere) transitioning
into the Mainstream."

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