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IBM Hardware

IBM's New Processors To Exceed 5Ghz 250

Jordin Normisky writes to mention the news, via ZDNet Asia, that IBM's new Power6 processor will be unveiled next month at a conference in San Francisco. They're also planning to announce a second-generation Cell, both of which are expected to run faster than 5GHz. From the article: "In addition, the [Power6] chip 'consumes under 100 watts in power-sensitive applications,' a power range comparable to mainstream 95-watt AMD Opteron chips and 80-watt Intel Xeon chips. Power6 has 700 million transistors and measures 341 square millimeters, according to the program. The smaller that a chip's surface area is, the more that can be carved out of a single silicon wafer, reducing per-chip manufacturing costs and therefore making a computer more competitive. Power6, like the second-generation Cell, is built with a manufacturing process with 65-nanometer circuitry elements, letting more electronics be squeezed onto a given surface area. "
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IBM's New Processors To Exceed 5Ghz

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  • by TobyWong ( 168498 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:38PM (#17463050)
    I thought we had finally advanced past the "higher clockspeed = more better" stage...
  • by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:44PM (#17463180) Homepage
    They would get bragging rights with 45nm. 65nm is so old that even AMD has 65nm chips now.

    Heck philips/motorola I believe have been producing 65nm microcontrollers, and samsung is producing 50nm flash chips.

    And 5GHz should not be difficult considering it doesnt have the x86 overhead, is more RISC and that generally PPC has a simpler core. I'll be interested if it comes with quad cores or more.
  • by zensonic ( 82242 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:54PM (#17463356) Homepage
    We have. If you read whats being said about power6 it hasn't got a deeper pipeline. So nobody knows how they do it. ..... If they actually are able to keep the promises, but thats another story.
  • by andy314159pi ( 787550 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:56PM (#17463404) Journal
    The older power3 chips (350 mhz) can compete with an intel 2.0 ghz chipset for our computations. However because alot of our stuff is very poorly written it caches to disk all of the time and the overall build of the rs6000 machines (and their more current versions) was best at managing the heavy throughput from the disk to fast memory. When we finally got our stuff to use a full 64 bit addressing system and we were able to use all of the fast memory that advantage vaporized for the rs6000 machines. Now the stuff we have on the intel machines runs circles around the very expensive power computers we have. The clock speed *was* in fact the "limiting reagent" in the computations when we used the large fast memory that 64 bits allowed us to use.
  • Re:Macintoshes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nocomment ( 239368 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:11PM (#17463668) Homepage Journal
    Move back? They were never on them. POWER6 != powerpc (though they are similar in more ways than not).

    I think Apple is perfectly happy with the Intel move at this point. One of the reasons for the migration (if you can get past Jobs' reality distortion field of blah blah per watt or whatever) was that IBM wasn't able to keep up with demand, either with getting the speeds up, or with delivering the slow crappy ones they already had.

  • Re:Macintoshes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aadain2001 ( 684036 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:23PM (#17463910) Journal
    First of all, switch to a Power6 based architecture is not something you simple do. It takes a LOT of effort in writing the OS to function on the new architecture, not to mention all the work by developers to make their programs function on it as well. Second, Apple didn't choose Intel because they were the "best at the moment" uP supplier. They chose Intel because Apples felt they had a better future than the PowerPC line. So, even if someone, like Power6, does poke their head above Intel/x86 in performance, Apple is content that Intel will surpass them and continue producing good CPU's. Apple did not switch to x86 based processors lightly.
  • by Binder ( 2829 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:27PM (#17464018)
    Here are some numbers concerning spec/Ghz.
    IBM/s chips are very good performers / clock and the increased clock should do wonders.
    Intel's P4 for instance was terrible on a per clock basis.

    proc Ghz specint2000 specint/Ghz specfp2000 specfp/Ghz
    opteron 3.0 2119 706.3 2365 788.3
    Intel P4 3.8 1834 483.4 2091 550.2
    Intel Core 2 2.66 2848 1070.6 2673 1004.8
    IBM Power5 2.1 1747 831.9 3324 1582.8

    please forgive the nasty table

  • by k1e0x ( 1040314 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @06:11PM (#17465624) Homepage
    Apple "Switched" not because Intel was faster or better or had a "better roadmap" as they claim. It's because IBM couldnt get the heat down on the chips. They had no G5 PowerBook and the towers had to be made like giant wind tunnles.

    IBM just couldnt make a cool + powerful chip like Intel could.. but.. that looks like thats in the past now..
  • IBM didn't CARE (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @06:29PM (#17465912) Homepage
    IBM does not give a heck to Desktop market unless you are calling them about 10.000 terminal running Enterprise Big Iron monster and they may even suggest you buy Dell terminals/PCs if it fits their project better. What matters to them is the mainframe, technologies used, software used and the entire consulting to keep such business up.

    Motorola/Freescale lives happily in embedded processor market and telecoms market too.

    I guess such stories should have "power-not-powerPC department" tag.

    Also, yes , our great leader/prophet whatever was right switching to Intel/x86 because of above reasons. Both companies tries to stay away from Desktop market and they won't be bothered by ridiculous 3Ghz PPC G5 (a STRIPPED DOWN POWER4) Apple fanboys. Apple can't effect those decisions by their current market share. If it goes back to great 50% 50% marketshare values, they can demand anything of course.

    (Happily written from a 33C/92F running Quad G5)
  • by dreddnott ( 555950 ) <> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @07:00PM (#17466412) Homepage
    I do understand that AMD approaches the multi-core issue and SMP in general a bit more elegantly than Intel, and that this has a lot to do with HyperTransport, but Intel just beat them at their own game and they will have a lot of work to do in the *NEAR* future to get back to where they've been since the launch of the Athlon processor (first to 1GHz, first to seamless 64-bit x86 desktop among their most shining achievements).

    AMD wasn't very much about low-cost for the last couple of years - FX and X2 chips were historically overpriced until Core 2 hit the scene - there was a 40%-60% price drop on the X2 dual-core chips at about that time if you'll recall. That means two things to me: insane profit margin and no need to compete with the floundering NetBurst.

    CPU performance matters tremendously. Application performance disk-bound? Don't make me laugh. My system has 2GB of system RAM, as I hope today's Vista-ready machines do - when I load a large program (like a game) that I've already loaded since my computer has been turned on, it doesn't even read the HDD, nor does it jitter when loading new areas in games like Oblivion. I turned off my page file a long time ago. User input bound? Maybe if you're writing INPUT N$ statements in BASIC. Don't forget that Vista is around the corner for most of the world, no matter how bad it is.

    DDR2 didn't help or hurt AM2 very much so I don't think memory subsystem bandwidth (or latency) is your answer either. Don't forget that media encoding, scientific applications, CAD, and gaming are what sells the high-margin computers that both Intel and AMD care a great deal about, and what drives technology in general (they can't sell if it they can't market it). AMD still has a relative deathgrip on the 8-way server market but its hold on 2- and 4-way servers that it rightfully wrested from Intel's grasp is rapidly slipping away due to Woodcrest and Kentsfield's rather nice performance per watt.

    HTX slots might be an interesting toy for the future, and perhaps wonderfully applicable to server/render farms, but I don't see a product or a killer app yet.

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