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POWER6 Information and Speculation

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Dec 252005

Real World Technologies has an article up discussing the unreleased POWER6 processor, which will be used in the next generation of IBM pSeries, iSeries, and zSeries servers. IBM has apparently been relatively quiet about POWER6, so actual information, speculation, and rumors are all covered. Topics range from binary translation of zSeries code to microarchitecture, cache design, and SPECcpu benchmark estimates.

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Genesi's EFIKA 5K2 Now Shipping

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Dec 072005

Genesi’s EFIKA 5K2, an evaluation board for the Freescale 5200B processor, is now available in minimum orders of 50 units. Almost simultaneously, they slam Freescale’s CEO for neglecting the desktop, leading one to wonder about future collaboration between the two companies.

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Interview with Freescale CEO

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Dec 072005

In an interview with News.com, Freescale’s CEO Michel Mayer focused heavily on embedded and automotive applications for PowerPC. In the wake of Apple’s defection to Intel processors, he de-emphasized the importance of Apple as a customer and desktop computing in general: “Innovation is moving away from the PC space, and it’s moving to consumer electronics. […] So desktop is not a market that we want to serve.”

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Linux Driver for Airport Extreme

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Dec 062005

After several years of work, the first wifi bits have been sent from Linux on a PowerBook with an “Airport Extreme” card, using the bcm43xx driver. Many hackers were involved, especially those doing the hard work of reverse-engineering the card so that others could produce a driver from the generated documentation. Much work remains to be done, but congratulations to everyone involved, and let us all hope they are spared litigation.

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GeeXboX Media Distribution

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Dec 062005

It had escaped our attention that the GeeXboX media distribution added PowerPC support this summer. GeeXboX is an 11MB Live CD (bootable CD requiring no hard disk installation) capable of playing a wide variety of media formats. A G4 or better is highly recommended.

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Power.org Invites Individual Developers

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Dec 062005

Power.org, which has until now exclusively focused on corporate partnerships, has created a “developer” membership level. Members at the developer level are allowed access to the members-only area of Power.org and technical subcommittee output.

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Xserve Cluster #15 in Top500.org Supercomputer List

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Dec 012005

Terra Soft Solutions, makers of Yellow Dog Linux, played a large role in COLSA’s supercomputing cluster, which recently attained #15 on the Top500.org list. The cluster consists of 1566 Apple Xserve G5s, and is built on Terra Soft’s Y-HPC distribution.

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Genesi Announces "4U2" PowerPC-based Laptop

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Nov 292005

Genesi, makers of the PowerPC mini-ATX Pegasos motherboard, have announced they will be building a PowerPC sub-laptop due to ship in Q2 2006. Named “4U2”, the system will be based on their EFIKA 5K2 reference design, meaning it will use the 5200B embedded system-on-chip (SoC) processor from Freescale.

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Interview with IBM Full-System Simulator Developers

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Nov 292005

IBM developerWorks has posted an interview with three developers behind the IBM Full-System Simulator, which can simulate 970 and Cell processors (including SPU coprocessors), and was recently made available as a free-with-registration download on IBM alphaWorks. The interview spends a lot of time on functional accuracy versus performance modeling, and also covers some Cell SPU features, and how the codename “Mambo” was chosen.

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Oracle 10g Release 2 for PowerPC Linux

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Nov 292005

Before Thanksgiving, Oracle released Oracle 10g Release 2 for PowerPC Linux without any announcement (IBM has already remained silent). This is the first full server release they’ve made; previously they have released “Developer’s” editions, and a year ago the 10g Client software.

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