A Look at the Power6

Arthur Cole

For those of you looking to upgrade to IBM's new Power6 processor, eWeek's Wayne Rash got a preview of the p570 server and found a lot to like.


For the server itself, the modular design allows individual modules to be specified for processor cards or storage. And you can link up to four servers as a single device. It also holds up to six SAS drives, three PCIe and two PCI-X expansion slots and up to 192 GB of memory.


But the true innovations come from the Power6. IBM revised the instruction pipeline and reworked the process for retrieving cached instructions, allowing it to run at 4.7 GHz even while consuming only 1 volt. It also has a self-monitoring ability to detect and correct errors on the fly.


The chip can also handle floating point decimal calculations through the IBM-designed IEEE 754r standard. At the moment, this gives IBM an edge in Unix and Linux environments, as IBM is the only hardware manufacturer that supports the standard.


IBM introduced the p570 in May and recently hit the 1,000 shipments mark.

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