Feeds

IBM all out for bandwidth with 170m-transistor Power4

Still keeping quiet about speed, though

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

IBM did indeed put some flesh on the bones of its Power4 processor, codename Gigaprocessor, but the revelations focused solely on the upcoming chip's architecture rather than less technical but more prosaic information like, well, host fast the damn thing will be. Speaking at Microprocessor Forum, Big Blue's Power4 design chief, Jim Kahle, did reveal that the chip will contain a two processor cores plus a shared on-die L2 cache and control circuitry for an external L3 cache. Bandwidth is clearly all in IBM's eyes, and Kahle reeled off a stack of statistics such as the die-L3 line has a data throughput rate of over 40GBps, while the core-L2 line can handle over 100GBps. Each Power4 contains a chip-to-chip communications module to enhance multi-processing systems, and these modules operate at over 35GBps. The point here is that the chip and its architecture have been designed from the ground up with server roles in mind -- as Power development head Charles Moore said when he introduced the chip at last year's Microprocessor Forum -- and servers are primarily about moving information from one place to another and that, in turn is primarily about bandwidth, especially in Internet roles where usage tends to fluctuate rapidly, with frequent high bandwidth demand peaks followed by periods of relatively low usage. As Kahle put it: "Our design philosophy has been to get the right data to the right place at the right time." Kahle didn't state how fast the Power4 will actually run, beyond a broad 'greater than 1GHz', something everyone could pretty much guess from the chip's codename. However, he did confirm that the beast contains over 170 million transistors -- much of it devoted to the on-die L2 cache -- to the accompaniment of awed whistles from the Microprocessor Forum audience. According to Kahle, Power4 will sample early next year, with systems based on the processor shipping Q1 2001. IBM will offer Power4 on four-chip modules, effectively providing eight-way multi-processing through a single approximately 10cm x 10cm unit. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.