IBM unveils Power8 and OpenPower pincer attack on Intel’s x86 server monopoly

Industry Coverage


IBM has taken the wraps off the first servers that are powered by its monstrously powerful Power8 CPUs. With more than 4 billion transistors, packed into a stupidly large 650-square-millimeter die built on IBM’s new 22nm SOI process, the 12-core (96-thread) Power8 CPU is one of the largest and probably the most powerful CPU ever built. In a separate move, IBM is opening up the entire Power8 architecture and technical documentation through the OpenPower Foundation, allowing third parties to make Power-based chips (much like ARM’s licensing model), and to allow for the creation of specialized coprocessors (GPUs, FPGAs, etc.) that link directly into the CPU’s memory space using IBM’s new CAPI interface.