BY EMEKA AGINAM
In its continuity of providing industry leadership on a variety of technology fronts, IBM has announced its collaboration with other technology firms to form the OpenPOWER Consortium , an open development alliance based on IBM’s power.
The Consortium, comprising of IBM, Google Mellanox, NVIDIA and Tyan is expected to build advanced server, networking, storage and GPU-acceleration technology aimed at delivering more choice, control and flexibility to developers of next-generation, hyperscale and cloud data centers.
The consortium will offer open-source POWER firmware, the software that controls basic chip functions.
By doing this, IBM and the consortium can offer unprecedented customization in creating new styles of server hardware for a variety of computing workloads.
“This is an industry first by IBM. The move makes POWER hardware and software available to open development for the first time as well as making POWER IP licensable to others, greatly expanding the ecosystem of innovators on the platform,” Taiwo Otiti, Country General Manager, IBM West Africa, said.
According o him, OpenPOWER is open to any firm that wants to innovate on the POWER platform and participate in an open, collaborative effort.
“The founding members of the OpenPOWER Consortium represent the next generation in data-center innovation,” said Steve Mills, senior vice president, and group executive, IBM Software & Systems. “Combining our talents and assets around the POWER architecture can greatly increase the rate of innovation throughout the industry.
“Developers now have access to an expanded and open set of server technologies for the first time. This type of ‘collaborative development’ model will change the way data center hardware is designed and deployed.”
“We are happy taking part in the OpenPOWER Consortium and its mission to further accelerate the rate of innovation, performance and efficiency for advanced data center solutions,” Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies” explained.
He added that, “Open source and community development are key to enabling innovative computer platforms and better serve the scalable and emerging applications in the areas of high-performance, Web 2.0 and cloud computing. Mellanox’s mission is to provide the most efficient interconnect solution for all compute and CPU architectures and deliver the highest return-on-investment to our users.”
As part of their initial collaboration within the consortium, NVIDIA and IBM will work together to integrate the CUDA GPU and POWER ecosystems.
The OpenPOWER Consortium, according to Sumit Gupta, general manager of the Tesla Accelerated Computing Business at NVIDIA brings together an ecosystem of hardware, system software, and enterprise applications that will provide powerful computing systems based on NVIDIA GPUs and POWER CPUs.
For Albert Mu, general manager of Tyan Computer and vice president of MiTAC International Corp, OpenPOWER will bring a new wave of innovation to next-generation data centers.
He said that a strong ecosystem built around OpenPOWER would bring a range of new technology choices to market, offering more capabilities for Tyan’s customers.