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Power5 boasts quadruple performance gain

Prototypes run like the clappers

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Servers based on IBM's forthcoming Power5 chip will be four times faster than current Power4 machines.

That's the message from Bill Zeitler, head of IBM's server group, who told reporters at the IBM PartnerWorld conference in New Orleans that Big Blue has had a prototype Power5 server humming away in its labs for the last three weeks.

Thus far the machine is running only machine code, with an AIX and Linux port due in the next 30 days, according to reports.

Power5 processors are expected to debut in 64 bit servers Armada (aka Squadron) servers due next year.

The forthcoming Power5 processor will feature IBM's eLiza self-management and fault-correction technology. The idea is when a Power5 system detects repeated errors it will move the workload to another part of the machine.

Power5 will also bring on board improved partitioning and simultaneous multithreading (SMT) support as well as other features explained in greater depth in an earlier story here.

The U.S. Department of Energy's ASCI Purple nuclear simulation supercomputer will use 12,544 Power5 microprocessors (in 196 64-way servers), according to plans announced last year. Power5 servers are also expected to become a mainstay of far smaller systems, though IBM is yet to spell out in detail it plans in this direction. ®

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