updated 03:37 pm EDT, Tue August 6, 2013
Five company coalition allowed to fabricate Power-based chips
IBM, Google, and other tech companies have banded together to license and improve IBM's "Power" chip line. The new OpenPower Consortium has been formed by the pair, plus Israel-based Mellanox Technologies, Taiwan company Tyan Computer Corp, and Nvidia. As part of the agreement, the manufacturing companies in the consortium will be allowed to fabricate Power chips for sale and use in "servers, networking, and storage devices."
IBM's previously proprietary technology related to the Power line will be available to all of the companies, and licensable to others. The alliance has been opened to any company that wants to join and advance the technology.
"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."
Previous generations of the Power line won't be available for licensing. The newly announced and upcoming Power8 architecture will be the first iteration of the technology for general use.
The biggest-name consumer product with Power-based technology is the Xbox 360 -- though the Xbox One uses x86 chips and is ridding itself of the architecture. Apple used older versions of the technology from 1993 through 2006 under the name PowerPC.