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POWER5 exists!

post #1 of 92
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I'm pretty sure this hasn't been posted before - apparently the POWER5 does exist, not just as a concept but as early pre-production hardware. A few IBM engineers posted to a Linux/PowerPC mailing list about a week ago showing a boot log from such a pre-production machine. A few interesting things to note:

- This machine has over 1GB of memory attached to it (though for some reason naca->physicalMemorySize is set to something much smaller than that - strange.)

- This is an SMP kernel

- It's CHRP - are existing POWER4 machines CHRP? Other machines of theirs probably are (such as their 604e-based workstations; my Motorola Powerstack 604 is CHRP).

EDIT - there's a good InfoWorld article on the POWER5 at http://www.infoworld.com/article/03/...ibmroad_1.html - may have already been mentioned, but I'll provide it again anyway. From the article:

"We looked hard at the future roadmaps, and we believe strongly that we have the answer in Power technology. The [IBM] xSeries team has an Itanium box, and we are out to make sure Itanium doesn't survive."

I forgot to include the log! http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=linu...1921406815&w=2
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post #2 of 92
Yeah we had a few topics on the POWER5

I don't know about CHRP but from what i've read

it's already booting a kernel or Assembly

Supports 2 cores with SMT to each core.

IBM claims it's up to 4x faster than teh POWER4

It should scale from Midrange Workstation/Server on up to high end.
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post #3 of 92
Exciting! No chance of this hitting the Mac market, though. And if it does, my money won' amoun' to nuttin. \
post #4 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Exciting! No chance of this hitting the Mac market, though. And if it does, my money won' amoun' to nuttin. \

Take heart 'o Placebo ... the Power5 is apparently the chip of our whacky mac dreams ...

It's supposed to be everything the Power4 was, just a whole lot faster and far more scaleable; in other words, without much modification, it's supposed to fit just fine in everything from blades, and all the way up to the big iron.

So ...

... if anything we're hearing from the preliminary info is correct, scaling the Power5 into a Mac will be far far less of an issue than scaling the Power4 was.

in leiu of a smug emoticon, this will have to do ->
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post #5 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by OverToasty
scaling the Power5 into a Mac will be far far less of an issue than scaling the Power4 was.

Correct me if I am wrong, but the PowerN chips are not PowerPC compatible, and therefore wouldn't that require a complete re-write of the OS?
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post #6 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by Rhumgod
Correct me if I am wrong, but the PowerN chips are not PowerPC compatible, and therefore wouldn't that require a complete re-write of the OS?

No, I'm pretty sure they Power4 and 5 are PowerPC compatible (somebody around here will definitely know for sure) ... even though the Power4 didn't have altivec ....

As far as I know - vis the Power4 - it wasn't the chip itself that was incompatible per se, it was the entire support structure beyond it ... for instance, Apple simply didn't have a Mobo to support a Power4, thus, no OSX on a Power4 - but that wasn't the chips fault.

As for rewriting the OS? Nah, there'll definitely be some tuning to get to 64bit clean OSwise, but a re-write? Definitely not.
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post #7 of 92
Quote:
"We looked hard at the future roadmaps, and we believe strongly that we have the answer in Power technology. The [IBM] xSeries team has an Itanium box, and we are out to make sure Itanium doesn't survive."


Hope they actually mean this, and that it isn't just marketing talk.
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post #8 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by OverToasty
Take heart 'o Placebo ... the Power5 is apparently the chip of our whacky mac dreams ...

It's supposed to be everything the Power4 was, just a whole lot faster and far more scaleable; in other words, without much modification, it's supposed to fit just fine in everything from blades, and all the way up to the big iron.

So ...

... if anything we're hearing from the preliminary info is correct, scaling the Power5 into a Mac will be far far less of an issue than scaling the Power4 was.

in leiu of a smug emoticon, this will have to do ->

But will they put the Power5 in a mac? I think the Power5 derived chip, the 980, is a likelier candidate for the mac.
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post #9 of 92
Power 3, 4 and 5 are PowerPC-processors. They have additional functionality but complies fully to the PowerPC standard also. The are in fact all implementations of the 64-bit vesion of PowerPCs so for all of you that worry about Apple not having OSX ready for 64 bit until 970.. fear not. Apple just might have had OSX running on machines powered by Power-processors for several years by now.
post #10 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by Henriok
Apple just might have had OSX running on machines powered by Power-processors for several years by now.

And there's still a chance we'll see Power5 in Apple's products.
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post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by OverToasty
No, I'm pretty sure they Power4 and 5 are PowerPC compatible (somebody around here will definitely know for sure) ... even though the Power4 didn't have altivec ....

As far as I know - vis the Power4 - it wasn't the chip itself that was incompatible per se, it was the entire support structure beyond it ... for instance, Apple simply didn't have a Mobo to support a Power4, thus, no OSX on a Power4 - but that wasn't the chips fault.

As for rewriting the OS? Nah, there'll definitely be some tuning to get to 64bit clean OSwise, but a re-write? Definitely not.

Yes, the Power4 and 5 series are PowerPC compatible, the POWER ISA is a superset of the PowerPC ISA, which means POWER is everything PowerPC is, plus a little more.

The Power4 chip, or it's structure isn't incompatible with the mac (Apple had/have to make a new mobo for the PPC970 too), but the Power4 is an expensive server chip, and not suited for the desktop market (for example, reliability is much more important for the servers, thus IBM uses more reliable, but also "slower" technology to produce the Power4, compared to the 970). To make a Power4-chip suited for the desktop, they redesigned it, added some (higher clock-frequency, Altivec, probably on Apple's request, but I have little to back that up), removed some (dual cores, L3) and ended up with something that is a much more effective solution to the performance-problems on the desktop PowerPC platform, than the Power4.

Altivec has little with compatibility to do, it's just "a little extra snack"

And yes, to support the 64-bit chip the PPC970 is, they have to tune the OS (I guess the kernel), but there is no need for anything that's even near a complete rewrite.
post #12 of 92
Power5 in a Mac? Ahhh..... no!

The Power5 is IBM's next generation (5th) PowerPC Server chip. Just like the Power4 - has been specifically designed for this business, mission critical reliable high end server applications - and thus totally overengineered for any form of desktop use. That aside like the 970 which is a Power4 desktop derivative (with Altivc added), the 980 is destined to be the desktop version of the Power5.

If they can get the 980 to outperform the 970 like the Power5 over the Power4, which IBM claims to be up to 4 times faster, do the math!. The 970 is probably twice as fast as a G4.

Obviously, we will need the 980 to be dual core/smt, etc, etc for that performence assumptions to be translated. Still with debut clock rates around 3GHz+, DP's running Maya/Shake/FCP/Cinema, Im betting that Apple will be the platform of choice for the Film/TV market. OK, back to reality - what do you mean 970 PowerMacs dont exist?.
post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by hasapi
Power5 in a Mac? Ahhh..... no!

The Power5 is IBM's next generation (5th) PowerPC Server chip. Just like the Power4 - has been specifically designed for this business, mission critical reliable high end server applications - and thus totally overengineered for any form of desktop use. That aside like the 970 which is a Power4 desktop derivative (with Altivc added), the 980 is destined to be the desktop version of the Power5.

Apple doesn't make desktops only. There are servers as well.
Quote:
Originally posted by hasapi

OK, back to reality - what do you mean 970 PowerMacs dont exist?.

I have seen, with my own eyes, more than 1000 PowerMacs through my life.
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post #14 of 92
Why does IBM all of the sudden support Alti-vec, is it because they've seen the progress of the G4 add-on and finally like it?

-walloo.
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post #15 of 92
'cos Apple asked 'em to.
post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by willywalloo
Why does IBM all of the sudden support Alti-vec, is it because they've seen the progress of the G4 add-on and finally like it?

Because it pulls 18 GFLOPS per processor @ 1.8 GHz.. Thats ALOT och computing power..

.. and Apple asked them to
post #17 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by willywalloo
Why does IBM all of the sudden support Alti-vec, is it because they've seen the progress of the G4 add-on and finally like it?

-walloo.

1) They own some rights to the technology
2) They're producing a serious, high-performance desktop/entry-level processor (and they did not do that until now), and such processors "needs" a kick-ass SIMD unit
3) Altivec is really, really kick-ass, when the code is properly optimized, and it is not strangled by the FSB (like on the G4) or other bottlenecks
4) Like vinney57 said, Apple probably asked them to, and showed them some goodie goodie money
post #18 of 92
IBM is in a hurry to get the Power 5/980 chips out as there are manufacturing as well as performance advantages over the Power 4/970 chips. If Apple drags its feet much longer the 970 will be obsolete when introduced. As it is the 970 is really only a transitional product to cover the gap until 980 production is available.
post #19 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by RBR
IBM is in a hurry to get the Power 5/980 chips out as there are manufacturing as well as performance advantages over the Power 4/970 chips.

970 is here this year. 980 won't be here for some years. IBM hasn't made any public anouncment when they intend to ship the slimmed down version of Power 5 AFAIK. It might not be here until 2005 or even later.. But til then we just might enjoy 970+ © 3 GHz or more, and that's good enough for me. Very much so!
post #20 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by Henriok
970 is here this year. 980 won't be here for some years. IBM hasn't made any public anouncment when they intend to ship the slimmed down version of Power 5 AFAIK. It might not be here until 2005 or even later.. But til then we just might enjoy 970+ © 3 GHz or more, and that's good enough for me. Very much so!

The 980 is projected for next year. If Apple fools around too long the 970 will be yesterday's news.
post #21 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by RBR
The 980 is projected for next year. If Apple fools around too long the 970 will be yesterday's news.

I don't think so. IBM has not officially stated anything about POWER5 derivatives.

My personal thoughts are we see the 980 by 2H 2005. That gives us roughly a minimum of 3 970 cycles before moving on. The 970 then would be in the whole Mac lineup by the time the 980 hits adding the needed differentiation.

<edit> added "not" thank Henriok.
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post #22 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
IBM has officially stated anything about POWER5 derivatives.

You obviously mean that IBM has stated nothing about Power5 derivatives. I for one would really like to see the road maps which mentions 980.. I've seen the ones with 970+ on them, but no 980.
post #23 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by Henriok
You obviously mean that IBM has stated nothing about Power5 derivatives. I for one would really like to see the road maps which mentions 980.. I've seen the ones with 970+ on them, but no 980.

It wasn't in a roadmap, but I recall it being in a press release. I'll try and dig it up.
post #24 of 92
From the Nake Mole Rat:
Quote:
But what of the eagerly awaited PowerPC 970, a k a GPUL? After a year or so of production (at speeds of up to 1.8 GHz), IBM plans to pop out a 970+, which should include a few niceties that will bring it to 2.5 GHz. While much remains obscured beneath the burning sands, there is an undefined ?Next Generation? chip - and it?s not based on the GPUL but the Power5 successor to IBM?s current server silicon.

So the 970 this year. The 970+ next year and Chip X afterwards. The 980?? Perhaps...

Screed
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post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by costique
Apple doesn't make desktops only. There are servers as well.

I have seen, with my own eyes, more than 1000 PowerMacs through my life.

Sorry dude, I hope you dont mean that Apple would release a Server to accomodate a Power5 architecture?.

Im consious of the xserve - but this 1U product, CANNOT accomodate a Power4, 5, 6, etc. Why do you think IBM is selling Xeons for its blades?. In fact, the 970's purpose was also for 1U and quite possibly other workstations (Linux). To capture the lucrative Apple CPU orders they had to bolt on Altivec.

The Power 4 and the Power 5 are

1. Not designed for low end servers. and 2. Are prohibitavely expensive, due to their specific designed functions. eg. have you seen this quote "The processor will be used in a nuclear weapons simulation supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. That machine, called ASCI Purple, is slated to use 12,544 Power5 chips".

3. Relax, we will get its little brother the 980 in 2005 @ 3GHz (it just happens to be twice as fast as 970, IBM says 4 times with SMT technology).

4. I would not worry about that for now the 970 will be more than sufficient in xserves and PowerMacs.

For what its worth!8)
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by hasapi
The Power 4 and the Power 5 are

1. Not designed for low end servers. and 2. Are prohibitavely expensive, due to their specific designed functions. eg. have you seen this quote "The processor will be used in a nuclear weapons simulation supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. That machine, called ASCI Purple, is slated to use 12,544 Power5 chips".

I'm sorry but this has been repeated several times on these boards and is not correct: the Power5 is NOT designed exclusively for high-end servers and will NOT be prohibitively expensive.

For more information, read this infoworld article.

The Power5 IS designed to replace the Power4 but unlike the Power4 "The Power5 chip is more of a midrange or low end design that can drive up to the high end and then down to things like blades," Arimilli [an IBM fellow and chief architect] said.

I'm not saying that the Power5 as such will be found in a future PowerMac but the difference between say, the 970 and a Power4 will be much more significant than the difference between a Power5 and a '980' (has IBM actually made any references to such a processor? I thought a '980' was all speculation about a Power5 derivative anyways). In fact a '980' might be nothing more or less than a Power5+Altivec if the Power5 doesn't already have it.
post #27 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by hasapi
Sorry dude, I hope you dont mean that Apple would release a Server to accomodate a Power5 architecture?.



Well, let's keep in mind that this time 'round, as opposed to the Power4 scenario, IBM KNOWS people would love to have a scaled down version of their Power chip in a hi powered desktop - I recall an earlier article where some IBM Nabob mentioned that the Power5 will scale both down and up much further than the Power4 did, as it will be as at home in Blades as it would be in Big Iron Servers.

When's the last time anybody saw a Power4 in a blade?

It seems to be, that IBM is planning on rolling out the Power5 technology as an entire family of chips, to the point where IBM guy didn't even bother to differentiate in the earlier article between a Power5 and it's bladed/scaled down (980?) version.

Anybody in the know please correct me if I wrong here, but I get the impression that the Power5 is planned as a far greater reaching chip family than the Power4, and as such, we probably won't be waiting around anywhere near as long for some form of Power5 (or scaled down 980?) to appear in a Mac.
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post #28 of 92
I think you guys need to check the processor specs necessary for mission critical reliable servers iSeries, pSeries and AS/400's.

Your right that the Power5 will indeed be able to scale much better up AND down better than the Power4. But it does not make it the same chip even though the line between Server and Desktop are thinning.

Im still betting IBM CONTINUES to realese 9xx series PowerPC processors that are designed to be faster, but less reliable than their bigger brothers specs. The reality is that the 970 is the first in this series.

Cheers,
Hasapi
post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by hasapi
The Power 4 and the Power 5 are ... prohibitavely expensive, due to their specific designed functions. eg. have you seen this quote "The processor will be used in a nuclear weapons simulation supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. That machine, called ASCI Purple, is slated to use 12,544 Power5 chips".

Hey, one of the ASCI supercomputers uses PowerPC 604e CPUs, just like my Power Mac 7600.

Too bad I can't say anything about the Power5.
post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by hasapi
I think you guys need to check the processor specs necessary for mission critical reliable servers iSeries, pSeries and AS/400's.

Your right that the Power5 will indeed be able to scale much better up AND down better than the Power4. But it does not make it the same chip even though the line between Server and Desktop are thinning.

Im still betting IBM CONTINUES to realese 9xx series PowerPC processors that are designed to be faster, but less reliable than their bigger brothers specs. The reality is that the 970 is the first in this series.

Cheers,
Hasapi

Hasapi is right about the scaling. However, there will not be a Power5 RISC chip in a mac desktop. Period. And I know this. Believe me or not...I don't care.
post #31 of 92
The 970 is not just one POWER4 core with AltiVec added. They simplified the design to remove its high-reliability / durability features to bring it more in line with commodity desktop processors. Compared to desktop processors the POWER4 is massively over-engineered which makes it more expensive to produce. The POWER5 and POWER6 will be the same, and we can expect that they will be converted into 9x0 series PowerPC desktop processors in the same way that POWER4 has been. IBM has said, after all, that "the 970 is the first in a new series of PowerPC processors".
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post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by Programmer
The 970 is not just one POWER4 core with AltiVec added. They simplified the design to remove its high-reliability / durability features to bring it more in line with commodity desktop processors. Compared to desktop processors the POWER4 is massively over-engineered which makes it more expensive to produce. The POWER5 and POWER6 will be the same, and we can expect that they will be converted into 9x0 series PowerPC desktop processors in the same way that POWER4 has been. IBM has said, after all, that "the 970 is the first in a new series of PowerPC processors".

Scaled down Power5 conversion will less reliability and durability.....maybe. But people talking about sticking Power5 chips in an Xserve or a PowerMac is insane. That is not gonna happen.
post #33 of 92
Why did IBM start at the number 970 for this chip? Did they permanently waist the numbers 910 through 960?
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post #34 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by Locomotive
Why did IBM start at the number 970 for this chip? Did they permanently waist the numbers 910 through 960?

Lucky number '7', perhaps?
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post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by trailmaster308
Hasapi is right about the scaling. However, there will not be a Power5 RISC chip in a mac desktop. Period. And I know this. Believe me or not...I don't care.

I never suggested the Power5 would at its release be a candidate for ANY of Apple's product range. In fact I doubt it very much, imagine a rack of Dual 980 @ 3GHz 1U's. If this is not fast enough for Rendering, SQL, Distributed Comupting, then your not likely to even consider OS X Server as a network operating system.

Seriously, anyone who thinks Power5's are even remotely possible in the Apple product range should post the phone number of their dealer, because that is serious s..t their smoking

post #36 of 92
When the Power4 came out IBM specifically said that they were not selling it to other manufactures. I would expect the same deal for the POWER5 & 6. But the 9XX series is entirely different.
post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by hasapi
I never suggested the Power5 would at its release be a candidate for ANY of Apple's product range.

O yeah I know. Sorry about that. I wasn't implying that you said a Power5 would go in a desktop or blade. I should have made myself clearer. Got a little over excited when I was reading all these posts.
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by costique
Apple doesn't make desktops only. There are servers as well.

There's a different between a $5,000 Xserve and a $150,000 IBM high-end server. And it isn't just the price tag.

Sorry, but Apple is just in the low-end file server market, and not in anything near to HP's, SUN's or IBM's position there.
post #39 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
Sorry, but Apple is just in the low-end file server market, and not in anything near to HP's, SUN's or IBM's position there.

What a coincidence! IBM states that the Power5 is made for low end servers!
post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally posted by Henriok
What a coincidence! IBM states that the Power5 is made for low end servers!

IBM's definition of what a low end server is, is vastly different than Apple's version of a low end server (ie Xserve).

Low end servers for IBM start around $20,000 or so.
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