The OpenPOWER Initiative May Actually Chart a Smarter Path for 64-Bit Computing

Steven Hill
Steven Hill

Summary Bullets:

  • The truly open development environment offered by the OpenPOWER Foundation makes the high-performance POWER platform much more accessible and will benefit from the input of participants from all facets of the system design community.
  • The high cost of midrange systems have always restricted them to high-performance, high availability tasks; but IBM’s program opening up the POWER processor platform to the world could usher in the next generation of affordable 64-bit computing options.

Open is an extremely overused word these days. In the world of cloud in which we live, the primary buzzword is always “open” with everyone falling over one and another to prove just how open they are. But there’s open and then there’s OPEN, as evidenced by IBM’s creation and ongoing support of the OpenPOWER Foundation. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve become wary of vendor claims to “openness”, it usually means “we’ll expose our API’s so YOU can work with US”, but in the case of the POWER processor platform IBM has pulled out all the stops. As a member of OpenPOWER, you can get access to everything—blueprints, code—anything you want going back as far as you want, plus participation in a completely collaborative environment designed to inspire and embrace outside participation. Too good to be true? Not at all, and over 60 companies have signed on as partners so far, with hopefully more to follow. Continue reading “The OpenPOWER Initiative May Actually Chart a Smarter Path for 64-Bit Computing”