Meet the New Chair of the OpenPOWER Foundation Board of Directors

By Robbie Williamson, Chair of the Board of Directors, OpenPOWER Foundation.

Robbie Williamson, Chair, Board of Directors, OpenPOWER Foundation

“In the coming months, I plan to further open up access to OpenPOWER and lower the bar to entry.” – Robbie Williamson, Chair, Board of Directors, OpenPOWER Foundation

The OpenPOWER Foundation is an innovative, collaborative and crucially important organization in the world of high-powered computing, and I’m fortunate and excited for the opportunity to lead its board of directors.

First, let me share some of my background. I’ve been a “computer geek” since my first BASIC program on my Atari 800XL, and I’ve been working with opensource-based technologies since 2001. Today, I work for Canonical and help develop Ubuntu. I have experience across both hardware and software on POWER. I’ve worked on the POWER-based CellBE processor project, the first processor used on the Sony PlayStation 3. In addition, I played an instrumental role in getting the first port of Ubuntu working on POWER.

My primary goal in my position as chair of the OpenPOWER board of directors is to showcase the potential and performance that you can get from the OpenPOWER platform. I want to see Power succeed in providing another infrastructure to developers. There’s so much opportunity for improved performance with POWER.

Software and Hardware

If you only have hardware at your fingertips, you’re missing out on the full stack of options.

As chairperson, I hope to bring more of a software focus to the organization. There is a vibrant and thriving community at the ecosystem level in software, and I want to build that up and support developers in the software space to attract and grow the software side of POWER, while continuing to support hardware.

On AI and Machine Learning

POWER is currently advancing through innovations in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Utilizing these technologies means getting more bang for your buck. Space in data centers is limited, but AI and ML allow organizations to get more power from the same amount of space. For instance, four POWER machines can generate the same results as 10-12 traditional units. I plan to harness this potential and help POWER grow further in these areas.

The POWER Ecosystem

In the coming months, I plan to further open up access to OpenPOWER and lower the bar to entry. I want to make developers excited about a POWER machine, not afraid of it.

Once you realize what you can get out of power, it’s pretty bad ass.

I’d love to talk with you about POWER systems and the OpenPOWER Foundation. Connect with me on LinkedIn here!

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