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IBM Releases POWER6 Blade

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Nov 062007

IBM has put the JS22, a four-core POWER6 blade, up for sale. It comes bundled with IBM’s hypervisor (“Advanced POWER Virtualization Standard Edition”), though you must purchase an upgrade to get live migration. Even more surprising than fitting four 4GHz cores (and their heat sinks) into a blade form-factor is the price: it starts at $6129.

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PlayStation 3 folding@home World Record

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Nov 052007

Guinness World Records has recognised folding@home as the world’s most powerful distributed computing network, with over a petaflop of computing power. According to the project leaders, “It is clear that none of this would be even remotely possible without the power of PlayStation 3.”

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POWER6 Microarchitecture Detailed

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Nov 052007

IBM has published details on POWER6 microarchitecture in the IBM Journal of Research and Development. Design tradeoffs such as frequency vs out-of-order execution, the cache architecture, and more are described.

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8-core e500 Processors

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Oct 212007

Freescale has announced two e500-based SoCs (system-on-a-chips): the 4-core 8574 and the 8-core 8578. Both will be manufactured with a 45nm process by IBM and Chartered Semiconductor. The chips will be built around Freescale’s CoreNet interconnect, which will support up to 32 cores on a chip.

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Power Architecture Developer Conference Concluded

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Oct 072007

OK, actually the Power Architecture Developer Conference concluded about two weeks ago, and we still haven’t posted anything about it. There were over 400 attendees, a lot of interesting talks and a lot of interesting people to talk to. Unfortunately it seems the presentations have not yet been posted for download, but they have been promised. Lots of discussion centered around multicore processors (including AMCC’s new Titan core, and Freescale’s CoreNet bus which supports 32 cores), and lots more around virtualization (version 2.06 of the Power ISA will contain hardware extensions for virtualization). The best coverage seems to be at EETimes:

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Sam440EP Now Available

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Sep 292007

Sam440EP, the Mini-ITX 440EP board with onboard graphics, audio, is now available to the public at a somewhat disappointing price of 489 euro. The announcement was made by ACube Systems Srl at the Pianeta Amiga 2007 show last week in Italy, though none of the official Sam440EP websites have been updated since. Probably the most interesting aspect of Sam440EP is the onboard Lattice XP FPGA, and ACube Systems has promised that complete FPGA documentation will be available free of charge.

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Interview with Terra Soft Solutions

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Sep 132007

HPCwire has published an interview with Terra Soft Solutions’ Kai Staats, in which he discusses Yellow Dog Linux, the HPC Consortium TSS helped create, and lots of stuff about Cell (including their PS3 clusters).

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IBM Shows Off 970MP Workstation

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Aug 092007

An IBM employee has posted pictures from a 4-core 2.5GHz 970MP workstation that was on display at the recent Linux Symposium. He goes on to claim that it will be quiet and a limited production run should be out by the end of the year.

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Embedded Planet Ships Tiny 440EPx Board

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Aug 042007

There are lots of evaluation boards for lots of PowerPC processors out there, and we don’t try to keep track of them all. This one caught our eye though: a 3.5 x 2.2 x 1.5 inch 440EPx board with decent specifications. The boards are shipping now, but there isn’t a public pricetag…

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GCC Autovectorization and EEMBC

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Aug 042007

EDN has an in-depth technical article, co-written by EEMBC and IBM, about autovectorization in GCC (by which the compiler automatically exploits vector processing like Altivec). EEMBC (the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium) results clearly show the benefits: on 970FX, GCC with autovectorization beat Green Hills’ compiler by 153%.

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