May 21, 2007 8:43 AM PDT

IBM introduces Power6 chip

IBM introduces Power6 chip
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IBM on Monday introduced its Power6 microprocessors and a new generation of Unix-based servers to run on the chip.

Power6 is designed to run at 4.7GHz, twice the processing speed of IBM's predecessor Power5+ chip. IBM not only aims to double the processing speed over the Power5 chip, but also consume the same level of electricity to run and cool it.

Big Blue, as previously reported, said it will begin selling IBM p570 Unix servers with as many as eight of the new dual-core chips. The systems will go on sale June 8 for a starting cost of $60,000, an IBM representative said.

The company plans to introduce the Power6 chip throughout two server lines--the System p machines that run Unix and the System i machines that run the i5/OS operating system. Both systems also can run Linux.

A shipping schedule and pricing for the System i with the Power6 chip are not yet available.

IBM also said it will release a feature called Power6 Live Partition Mobility later this year that will let customers move a running instance of Unix from one physical machine to another. The feature, which aids flexibility and protection against hardware failure, is currently in beta testing.

CNET's Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.

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4.7Ghz per second
"4.7Ghz per second" is non-sensical. Perhaps you meant just "4.7Ghz" or "4.7 billion cycles per second".
Posted by satayboy (73 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'd like to second your seconds comment with this second comment about cycles per second. Hertz dunnit ;-)
Posted by hutchike (157 comments )
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I thought this was already out? Isn't this the same chip that is in the PS3? IBM and Sony were in partnership to develop it weren't they?
Posted by Astinsan (132 comments )
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I think you are thinking of the Cell processor, which was a collaboration between IBM, Sony and Toshiba. From my understanding, the Power6 is an IBM-only development.
Posted by _chad_ (12 comments )
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Wish it was available in Mac
I have the G5 PowerMac, and I wish that Apple still offered the PowerMac with the new G6 chip. It's all good if they want to offer Intel as well, but since they have the universal binaries, they should re-consider the new IBM processor. It took longer, but it's a good processor, top of the line.

Just my two cents.
Posted by RompStar_420 (772 comments )
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I don't think this is a likely option for apple. The reason to move to intel x86 processors was probably to help bring more applications to the mac and to get a decent portable mac. Not to mention that a power6 isn't a powerpc. It is totally different.
Posted by Astinsan (132 comments )
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nice chip, but still wouldn't work for Apple
I saw this and thought, wow, what if they dropped one of those into a PowerMac! I'm sure a lot of people will be thinking that Apple messed up. But then you have to realize that more than half of Apple's sales are portables, and then consider that a large chunk of desktop sales are of the iMac and Mini. All those machines need a cool-running procesor, which the Power6 isn't really designed to be.

You also have to consider that Apple needs somebody that can produce processors in large volume. Remember the iMac G5 launch -- it got delayed because of IBM's yield problems. When it comes to volume manufacturing, nobody is better than Intel.

The other thing Intel does for Apple is helps their sales because of dual-boot and VMWare capabilities. VMWare is way faster than Virtual PC on PPC because you don't have to translate instructions. Apple took some sales from Dell where I work because of the dual-boot capabilities.

So while this looks like a great processor, it probably still wouldn't have made a difference to Apple. ... but then again, I sure would like one of these to drop into my Power Mac.
Posted by chris_d (195 comments )
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Yes You are Correct
Yes, I have a G5 Quad Core and it is still nearly as fast as Current
Intel Xeon's -- (also have a Xeon Quad) but you are right: Apple
needed better notebook chips and IBM could not deliver the goods.
Posted by dansterpower (2511 comments )
Link Flag
BlueGene Super Computer

If they replaced the processors in the IBM Supercomputer Blue Gene, it would doube it's speed...


We are coming AI...
2016 : supercomputer
2029 : pc
(at current estimates of course)
Posted by SiXiam (69 comments )
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