Update to PowerPC glibc Optimizations

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Sep 212006

Steve Munroe has posted another update to the “powerpc-cpu” project, which provides PowerPC optimizations for glibc. Version 0.03 includes general memmove and mpa optimizations based on gcc-4.1.1 loop unrolling plus a POWER6-tuned 32-bit memcpy. The mpa optimization improves the inner loop of log, exp, and pow.

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IBM to Sell Cell Blade

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Sep 132006

IBM has announced it now offers blades containing the Cell Broadband Engine (CBE) processor as a standard product, named QS20. As LinuxDevices notes, this is the second Cell blade available, the first being from Mercury Computing. Mercury of course is the high-end embedded company which bought Momentum, the company which made the “Maple” evaluation board for IBM’s PowerPC 970. It’s a small world…

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Terra Soft: "One Year Later"

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Sep 132006

Terra Soft Solutions has posted an update on their business One Year Later (referring to Apple’s announcement of their switch to Intel processors). The quick summary: they’re focusing on Board Support Packages (BSPs), integrated solutions, and application development. Read on for the details…

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Nintendo Wii Processors Shipping

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Sep 072006

IBM and Nintendo announced that the first “Broadway” PowerPC-based processors, which will power the upcoming Wii game console, are now shipping. Nintendo’s previous console, the GameCube, contained a PowerPC 750 derivative codenamed “Gekko”, so PowerPC is not as foreign to Nintendo as it was to Microsoft and Sony. For more information, Ars Technica has some in-depth speculation about Broadway.

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Y-Bio JS21 BladeCenter Cluster

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Sep 052006

Terra Soft Solutions, makers of Yellow Dog Linux, just announced a new product: a full IBM BladeCenter preconfigured for gene sequencing. The BladeCenter contains 14 JS21 blades, and each blade holds two dual-core 970MP PowerPC processors, for a total of 56 cores in 7U of rack space, far more space-efficient than Apple’s old G5 Xserves.

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New IBM XL C/C++/Fortran Compiler

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Aug 292006

IBM has released a new version of its XL compilers, which usually offer better optimization than gcc on IBM Power processors. The new versions are “IBM XL C/C++ Advanced Edition V8.0.1 for Linux” and “IBM XL Fortran Advanced Edition V10.0.1 for Linux,” and they both support Terra Soft’s Yellow Dog Linux distributions and Novell’s SLES10. 60-day demo downloads should be available shortly.

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970FX Wins EEMBC Embedded Benchmark

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Aug 212006

In a surprisingly technical press release, IBM announced yesterday that the 970FX rocked the TeleBench benchmark from the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC, pronounced “embassy”). To be fair, most of the competition is sub-GHz embedded processors, and your editor hasn’t heard of many of them. The 2GHz 970FX approximately doubled the performance of Freescale’s 1.7GHz 7448 (“G4”), but no comparison was made regarding power consumption/heat dissipation or other real-world design factors.

Interestingly, while many of the processors benchmarked (including the 970FX) used Green Hills’ compiler, IBM also enhanced gcc’s autovectorization capabilities and ran with that. The results were huge.

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Apple PowerPC No More

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Aug 172006

This week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple announced that the last PowerPC holdouts in its Power Macintosh line have been replaced with x86-based models. In particular, the PowerMac G5 has been replaced with the predictably-named Mac Pro, which uses Intel Xeon processors.

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The Great Power.org T-shirt Giveaway

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Aug 172006

Power.org is giving away t-shirts with the new Power.org logo. The only catch is that you have to register as a member first (the Developer membership is free of charge). First come, first served.

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Software Freedom Day

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Aug 172006

IBM is a sponsor of Software Freedom Day (SDF) 2006, which takes place in about a month. Prizes for the competitions, such as best event publicity or best SFD documentary, include a PowerMac G5 and some IBM POWER5 servers.

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