IBM Power7: Big Blue's Answer to Oracle, Intel
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IBM's Power7 has now made its appearance, and with it, comes IBM's chance at a reply to new product from Intel and persistent tweaking by Oracle's Larry Ellison. HardwareCentral takes a look at IBM's claims around the new processor, and early reaction from industry watchers.
IBM today released its Power7 processor and unveiled a wide range of new servers running the chip, giving the company a response to both Intel's new "Tukwila" Itanium 9300 processor and Oracle's UltraSparc chips, which Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has repeatedly compared against IBM systems.
During an event late last month celebrating the completion of Oracle's merger with Sun, the company's outspoken chief executive took repeated shots at IBM (NYSE: IBM), saying that Big Blue's systems couldn't scale.
IBM now says otherwise. Its older Power6 chips were dual-core, single-threaded processors, while the Power7 is an eight-core design with four threads per core per chip. For high-purpose workloads that require computing intensity instead of lots of threads, TurboCore mode brings just four cores to bear, running at a higher clock speed, throwing cycles instead of threads at the problem. It's an approach similar to Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) Turbo Boost.