POWER6

POWER6

__NOTOC__ The POWER6 microprocessor is IBM's follow-on to the POWER5. It is part of the eCLipz project, said to have a goal of converging IBM's server hardware where practical (hence "ipz" in the acronym: iSeries, pSeries, and zSeries). [cite web |title=A Mainframe Roadmap
publisher= [http://www.isham-research.co.uk Isham Research] |url=http://www.isham-research.co.uk/mainframe_2008.html |accessdate=2005-06-15
] POWER6 was described at the [http://www.isscc.org/isscc/ IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference] (ISSCC) in February 2006, and additional details were added at the Microprocessor Forum in October 2006 [http://www.in-stat.com/FallMPF/06/] and at the next ISSCC in February 2007. It was formally announced on 21 May 2007 [http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/21580.wss] . As of October 2008, POWER6 is the fastest microprocessor in the industry at per-core basics. [cite web |title=IBM Power Systems performance benchmarks
publisher= [IBM] |url=http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/benchmarks/index.html |accessdate=2008-10-09
] [cite web |title=IBM Power Systems Performance Comparisons
publisher= [IBM] |url=http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/migratetoibm/systems/power/performance.html |accessdate=2008-10-09
]

Description

The POWER6 has approximately 790 million transistors and is 341 mm² large fabricated on a 65 nm process. It was released on the 8th June 2007, at speeds of 3.5 GHz, 4.2 GHz and 4.7 GHzcite web
title=IBM POWER system hardware
publisher= [IBM]
url=http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/
accessdate=2008-10-09
] , but the company has noted prototypes have reached 6 GHz. [cite web |title=IBM's Power6 Processors to Hit 5.6GHz
publisher= [http://www.theregister.co.uk The Register] |url=http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/07/ibm_power6_show/ |accessdate=2006-02-07
] POWER6 reached first silicon in the middle of 2005 [cite web |title=IBM's Power6 Gets First Silicon as Power5+ Looms
publisher= [http://www.itjungle.com IT Jungle] |url=http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh082205-story01.html |accessdate=2005-08-22
] , and bumped to 5.0 GHz in October 2008.
Dr Frank Soltis, an IBM chief scientist, said IBM had solved power leakage problems associated with high frequency by using a combination of 90 nm and 65 nm parts in the POWER6 design. [cite web
author=Roger Howorth |title=IBM's Power6 processor to run at 4GHz in 2007 |publisher= [http://www.itweek.co.uk IT Week] |url=http://www.itweek.co.uk/itweek/news/2150006/ibm-power6-processor-run-4ghz |date=2006-02-08
]

The processor is a dual core design and has 128 KiB of L1 cache (64 KiB data + 64 KiB instruction), an eight-way set-associative design with a two-stage pipeline supporting two independent 32-bit reads or one 64-bit write per cycle.cite web |title=IBM Tips Power6 Processor Architecture |publisher= [http://www.informationweek.com InformationWeek] |url=http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=179100699 |accessdate=2006-02-06 ] Each core will have a 4 MiB "semi shared" L2 cache, where the cache is assigned a specific core, but the other has a fast access to it. The two cores share a 32 MiB large L3 cache which is off die, using an 80 GB/s bus.cite web |title=Fall Processor Forum: Power6 at 5 GHz |publisher= [http://www.heise.de/ Heise online] |url=http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/79371 |accessdate=2006-10-12 ] Each core has two integer units, two binary floating-point units, and a novel decimal floating-point unit, and is capable of two way SMT. The binary floating-point unit incorporates “many microarchitectures, logic, circuit, latch and integration techniques to achieve [a] 6-cycle, 13-FO4 pipeline,” according to a company paper. Unlike the servers from IBM's competitors, the POWER6 has hardware support for IEEE 754 decimal arithmetic and includes the first decimal floating-point unit integrated in silicon. More than 50 new floating point instructions handle the decimal math and conversions between binary and decimal. This is a feature also added to the processors powering IBM's System z.cite web |title=An eCLipz Looms on the Horizon
publisher= [http://www.realworldtech.com/ Real World Technologies] |url=http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?ArticleID=RWT121905001634 |accessdate=2005-12-19
] There is an AltiVec unit to POWER6, and the processor is fully compliant with the new Power ISA v.2.03 specification. POWER6 also takes advantage of ViVA-2, Virtual Vector Architecture, which enables the combination of several POWER6 nodes to act as a single Vector processor.

A notable difference from POWER5 is that IBM moved from an out-of-order design to an in-order design, a change which often requires software recompilation for optimized performance. However, the processor still achieves significant performance improvements even with unmodified software, according to the lead engineer on the POWER6 project.cite web
title=IBM POWER system hardware
publisher= [IBM]
url=http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/
accessdate=2008-10-09
]

IBM also makes use of a 5 GHz duty-cycle correction clock distribution network for the processor. In the network, the company implements a copper distribution wire that is 3 µm wide and 1.2 µm thick. The POWER6 design uses dual power supplies, a logic supply in the 0.8-to-1.2 Volt range and an SRAM power supply at about 150-mV higher.. The thermal characteristics of POWER6 are similar to that of the POWER5.

POWER6 can connect to up to 31 other processors using two inter node links (50 GB/s), and supports up to 1024 virtual partitions. POWER6 comes in MCMs just like POWER5 with up to four processor dies and associated external L3 cache on a single substrate. There is an interface to a service processor that monitors and adjusts performance and power according to set parameters.cite web |title=IBM cranks dual-core Power6 beyond 4GHz |publisher= [http://www.eetimes.com EETimes] |url=http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=KM5EMYIDNTO5GQSNDLRCKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=193105767 |accessdate=2006-10-10 ]

Products

IBM Power Systems run on the Power 6 CPU. The systems are the 520 Express, 550 Express, Power 570, Power 575, and Power 595. Power systems running AIX vs i have different model designations but the hardware is essentially identical. Power Systems. [http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/] . The various system models are designed to serve any sized business. For example, the 520 Express is marketed to small businesses while the Power 595 is basically a mainframe. All Power systems are noted for their huge expansion and storage capabilities.

IBM also offers two Power 6 based single wide blade servers, the JS12 and the JS22. blade module. [http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/blades/index.html] The JS12 is equipped with (2) 3.8GHz Power 6 cores while the JS22 has (4) 4.0GHz Power 6 cores. Both blades support AIX, i, and Linux. The BladCenter S and H chassis is supported for blades running AIX, i, and Linux. The BladeCenter E, HT, and T chassis support blades running AIX and Linux but not i.

At the SuperComputing 2007 (SC07) conference in Reno a new water-cooled p575 was also revealed with 32 POWER6 cores at 4.7 GHz with up to 256 GB of RAM.

Future

POWER6 includes redundancy-circuitry, support for mainframe instructions, and many power saving features, so there are plans to make stripped down, low power versions for applications like blade systems, and single core versions.cite web |title=IBM's juiced Power6 stomps poor, old Power5+ |publisher= [http://www.theregister.com The Register] |url=http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/13/ibm_power6_twice/ |accessdate=2007-02-16 ] The POWER6L [cite web |title=POWER roadmap, page 5 |publisher= [http://www.ibm.com IBM] |url=http://user.uni-frankfurt.de/~kraemerf/aixak2005/POWER5-Technical-Overview-27102005.pdf |accessdate=2005-10-27 ] is a low end derivative of POWER6 in the same segment as PowerPC 970 and there have been rumors of an ultra-light version, POWER6UL. IBM is also investigating a high-end four core version manufactured on a 45 nm process.

ee also

*IBM POWER
*Power Architecture
*POWER7
*z10, a mainframe processor sharing much technology with the POWER6.

References

External links

* [http://www.oracle.com/corporate/press/2007_may/sap-sdonibmp6.html?rssid=rss_ocom_pr, Oracle Sets New World Records for 4-Core and 8-Core Performance in Two-Tier SAP® Sales and Distribution Standard Application Benchmark, 24 MAY 2007]
* [http://www.ibm.com/press/POWER6 IBM Press Kit]
* [http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,21774602%5E15306%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html IBM's Power6 doubles speed]
* [http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/21546.wss IBM Unleashes World's Fastest Chip in Powerful New Computer, 21 May 2007]
* [http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=199700552 InformationWeek report on the Power6 announcement]
* [http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?ArticleID=RWT121905001634 Real World Tech, Dec 19, 2005]
* [http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=179100699 InformationWeek, Feb 6, 2006]
* [http://news.com.com/IBMs+Power6+gets+help+with+math%2C+multimedia/2100-1006_3-6124451.html C|Net, Oct 10, 2006]
* [http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/79371 Heise Online, Oct 12, 2006]
* [http://realworldtech.com/page.cfm?ArticleID=RWT101606194731 Real World Tech, Oct 16, 2006]
* [http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061019-8034.html Arstechnica, Oct 19, 2006]
* [http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070212-8823.html Arstechnica, Feb 12, 2007]
* [http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070521-ibms-power6-flies-the-coop-at-4-7ghz.html Arstechnica, May 21, 2007]
* [https://researchweb.watson.ibm.com/journal/rd/516/le.pdf The POWER6 microarchitecture, November 2007. IBM.com]

Recommended reading

* [http://www2.hursley.ibm.com/decimal/IBM-Power-Roadmap-McCredie.pdf POWER Roadmap, IBM, Oct 2006]


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