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IBM’s Powerlinux brings Power7 chips and Linux together

April 26th, 2012 No comments

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY VENDOR IBM has introduced cut-price enterprise servers that use Linux on its Power architecture.

IBM’s Powerlinux range of servers use the firm’s Power7 processors and Linux distributions from Red Hat and SUSE to compete against x86-based kit from AMD and Intel. According to IBM, its Powerlinux range will address requests from customers to run Linux applications on its Power7 chips, which are usually found in servers running the firm’s proprietary AIX Unix implementation.

IBM claims its Power7 chips offer better price performance than x86 servers, with Colin Parris, GM of IBM Power Systems saying, “As CIOs seek to transform their IT department from a cost center to a strategic asset, many have a misconception that deploying Linux on x86 servers equipped with VMware software is their only option for taking advantage of open source applications.”

IBM’s decision to release a range of servers that use Linux on its own Power7 architecture is yet another sign that customers are getting fed up with proprietary Unix operating systems from big enterprise vendors. HP has told The INQUIRER that its customers see a future in which they will move away from HP-UX onto Linux, and IBM’s Powerlinux is a sign that its customers are asking for Linux rather than being tied down to a closed source operating system that has a high level of vendor lock-in.

Being fair to IBM, it has been active in the Linux community for a well over a decade and it is not surprising to see the firm push its own Power7 processors in a bid to generate a bit more cash from a business that has largely been reliant on its own proprietary Unix operating system. IBM hopes that companies wanting to move to Linux-based operating systems will do so using its own Power-based kit rather than look at alternatives. µ

AMD Radeon HD 7970 Review: 28nm And Graphics Core Next, Together As One

December 22nd, 2011 No comments

At AMD’s Fusion Developer Summit 2011 AMD announced Graphics Core Next, their next-generation GPU architecture. GCN would be AMD’s Fermi moment, where AMD got serious about GPU computing and finally built an architecture that would serve as both a graphics workhorse and a computing workhorse. With the ever increasing costs of high-end GPU development it’s not enough to merely develop graphics GPUs, GPU developers must expand into GPU computing in order to capture the market share they need to live well into the future.

At the same time, by canceling their 32nm process TSMC has directed a lot of hype about future GPU development onto the 28nm process, where the next generation of GPUs would be developed. In an industry accustomed to rapid change and even more rapid improvement never before have GPU developers and their buyers had to wait a full 2 years for a new fabrication process to come online.

All of this has lead to a perfect storm of anticipation for what has become the Radeon HD 7970: not only is it the first video card based on a 28nm GPU, but it’s the first member of the Southern Islands and by extension the first video card to implement GCN. As a result the Radeon HD 7970 has a tough job to fill, as a gaming card it not only needs to deliver the next-generation performance gamers expect, but as the first GCN part it needs to prove that AMD’s GCN architecture is going to make them a competitor in the GPU computing space. Can the 7970 do all of these things and live up to the anticipation? Let’s find out…

7970 Front 575px AMD Radeon HD 7970 Review: 28nm And Graphics Core Next, Together As One