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IBM JS21 and Cell Blades

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Feb 092006

At an event introducing BladeCenter H, a new blade chassis with significantly better backplane bandwidth, IBM also announced the PowerPC-based JS21 blade. The JS21 can use two dual-core 970MP processors, up to 16GB of memory, supports running up to 40 virtual partitions, and should be available in March.

IBM also announced an upcoming Cell blade product. Technical details are scarce, but the system is supposed to ship in 3Q 2006.

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POWER6 Papers

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Feb 092006

At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco, IBM published some papers on POWER6 design, leading some sources to call it an “oddball“. It will be a 65nm 5GHz part, and there is still speculation on how it will fit in with zSeries.

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Freescale Joins Power.org

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Feb 062006

Freescale has finally joined Power.org, over a year after its formation. Power.org was started by IBM with the goal of turning the PowerPC architecture into the preferred open hardware platform. Dozens of companies have joined since then, with the very obvious exception of Freescale, the other major producer of PowerPC processors. No explanation was given for Freescale’s absense in today’s announcements.

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Genesi Developer Programs

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Feb 022006

Genesi is currently running a developer program for their EFIKA embedded system. Send them your project idea, open- or closed-source, and they might send you some hardware. They plan to do the same thing with the 970MP Open Server Workstation, but in order to participate in that, you need to participate in this first. More details on the Genesi weblog.

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Interview with PowerPC Inventor

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Jan 312006

TechWorld.com has an interview up with Frank Soltis, an iSeries (then called AS/400) designer Who Was There at the birth of PowerPC. Especially interesting are the thoughts on how to future-proof both architecture and implementations of that architecture, how PowerPC came to power AS/400 servers in addition to the RS/6000 for which it was designed, and reflections on DEC’s Alpha processor.

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IBM to Announce JS21 Blades

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Jan 312006

CNet claims that IBM will announce JS21 blade servers at the same event as the BladeCenter2 chassis. JS21 will feature 64-bit PowerPC 970MP dual-core processors, in contrast to the current JS20 blades which use the 970FX. Apple has been shipping 970MP for several months in its high-end PowerMac G5 models.

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Tundra Tsi110 Northbridge

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Jan 312006

Tundra Semiconductor, who back in the day acquired Motorola’s “MPC10x” northbridge products, has released a new product in that line, the Tsi110. Like its earlier products, it supports the “60x” bus used with 6xx, 7xx, and 74xx PowerPC processors. The Tsi110 features PCI Express, a bunch of gigabit ethernet interfaces, DDR2, and PCI-X.

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Pegasos Design Freely Available

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Jan 112006

Genesi has made the schematics for their Pegasos G3/G4 motherboard available for download from Power.org without license restrictions. You do need to join Power.org first, but Individual/Developer-level membership is also free. Genesi also has posted a blog entry on the subject.

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2005 in PowerPC

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Jan 062006

IBM developerWorks has posted a month-by-month review of 2005 as related to PowerPC. Well, they threw in some unrelated IBM things too…

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Yellow Dog Linux 4.1

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Jan 062006

Yellow Dog Linux 4.1, the “most polished Yellow Dog to date,” has been released. The feature list includes support for the latest PowerBooks, easy dual-head configuration, and more. It is available immediately from YDL.net, CDs will ship by the end of January, and public mirrors will have it two weeks after that.

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