IBM to release Power6 CPUs at 5GHz and beyond

By Justin Mann on February 7, 2006, 1:08 PM
Looks like IBM will be the first company to get a 4GHz CPU into the mainstream. Of course, don't expect this to be in your desktop. At the ISSCC, IBM talked about the next generation of Power CPUs, dubbed Power6. The CPU is designed on the popular “silicon-on-insulator” technology that is capable of reaching 4GHz, 5GHz and even beyond. The particular model they spoke about operated at 5.6GHz.

In one paper, the company described a 5.6-GHz Power6 processor with 64-Kb of Level 1 data cache. The processor is said to have an eight-way, set-associative design with a two-stage pipeline supporting two independent reads or one writes per cycle.
These CPUs are designed soley for servers, and the Power series is known for just that – consuming a lot of power. Performance is likely going to be quite a step up from Power5, and will help IBM keep customers from switching to lower priced but increasingly popular x86 platforms.




User Comments: 8

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Cartz said:
Do you think you'd need to call your local power utility and have them run a direct line to the back of your server? If the power requirements increase alongside the processor speed, then that will very likely be the case.Our hospital had a Power5, and it had a dedicated UPS, all of our other smaller x86 servers ran on the other UPS. In a power failure, the power5 would drain that UPS dry before all the other servers could manage to drain their shared one.
buttus said:
The only client base that would be interested in these kind of servers are Enterprise size, Financial Institutes and Goverment/Military. No one else would have the requirement, need or frankly budget to accomidate this level of computing. Money has to be not even a consideration when going to this level.On the other hand, when something emerges on top, it has a trickle down effect. We all know that x86 Servers and Processors are ever increasingly becomming cheaper and cheaper. Blades (IBM anyways) will be utilizing the Cell processor, and the AMD and Intel x86's will go into the racks and tower servers.The only two issues I see from such a server is (a) heat generation (especially in server farms and clusters) and (b) will the rest of the infrastructure behind the CPU be able to catch up (anything from SAN's to Tape Backups). Heck, I can't imagine the UPS requirements of such a setup. Can anyone say Room UPS ?
cyrax said:
I think you'll need a small level naquada reactor to get that running on a desktop. That is if the geforce8 takes off like it will.
MonkeyMan said:
This is great, but the heat from these babies is going to be horrible!!!!! I mean, I just can't imagine how hot these CPU's will actually get, once they have been running for awhile. This is going to be one powerful son of a gun!!!!!!
Need_a_Dell said:
Looks cool. They'll have to figure out how to dumb it down a bit so that we can get speeds like that at home. (Fingers crossed!)
nathanskywalker said:
[quote] I think you'll need a small level naquada reactor [/quote]Nahh, doesn't take as much energy as sending a wormhole from one end of the galaxy to the other...yet....5 ghz? Now this just might win IBM some ground back. Now if they can manage a dual-core as well(ok yeah right for a while), they just may beat AMD's opteron, and such.That is rather impressive speed, but multitasking is also a big part in running a server network, so i guess we'll see how they plan on doing this.
Race said:
The specs mentioned on the Power6 tells me that IBM will probably keep, and quite possibly expand it's lofty position in the high-end server market......mainly to the detriment of Sun Microsystems.Also, as far as power consumption is concerned.......I'm recalling Intel's ongoing struggle with electricity, and IBM could face the same thing.IBM says that the Power6 will be in the "same power envelope as its rivals", and if I remember correctly, Intel was also quite optimistic about the P4. I guess time will tell on that.
Eko said:
If they can pull this move out on the server market, there is only a question of time when these will come out for the mainstream PCs also.The faster the better, but not every time! Remember what happened to Intel last time they tried to pull up the performance just by increasing the MHZ ?! Only time can tell; anyway, good movement for IBM.
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