Open Power architecture: IBM hardware last crazy


with a drag on performance for IBM hardware business and its latest Power8 officially listed server chips, IBM last year led the establishment of the Open Power foundation (alliance) again caught the attention of the industry. And is causing concern because after Power8 release, IBM decided to open to outside developers Power chip architecture, allowing third-party companies to improve the this product.

to do so, the industry would IBM this analogy to the mobile Internet terminal market ARM chip manufacturers. The IBM earlier this year to sell its X86 server business to lenovo, China’s President, and the Power series (chip and server) become the main representative of IBM still has the hardware business, IBM so that follow the ARM’s practice is considered by the industry is also trying to retain its IBM hardware business one last effort. So it can save the waning of IBM even marginalized Power server business, or save the IBM hardware?

it is well known that IBM is opening its Power architecture, because their own server business based on the Power architecture chip under the impact of Intel X86 architecture server business, whether it’s revenue, or market share in a sharp decline in state. IBM also r&d spending billions of dollars every year. Such as the latest IBM Power8 chip is spent three years and $2.4 billion. In this sense, the IBM open its Power chip architecture’s main purpose is to share the cost, with the strength of others to keep the Power of presence. So the opening is not active, but no.

but confusingly, gold partner AIX operating system and Power chips, IBM is not open to the industry, it made the industry question this last bet IBM’s sincerity. IBM on different occasions to explain its not open AIX reason, because of the Unix market has the sunset xishan, Linux is the development trend, but the Power + combination and the Power of the Linux + AIX will show how to? After all IBM after opening its Power chip architecture, also want to produce their own Power chip and the server, the hard to avoid the production with the partners based on open architecture of the Power of Linux server contrast and conflict (including future customers), which leads to the IBM open one of the different structure with open ARM. Because the ARM after open, oneself is not produce chips, let alone a terminal and system.

in addition, compared with the ARM’s camp, at least from the IBM Open the Power of the alliance members, there is no ARM camp qualcomm, such as apple, mediatek can in the design, performance, or the price and the necessary and sufficient condition for the relevant market. Although samsung recently joined the Open Power alliance, but the main is that I wish to use the Power of Open architecture to optimize their memory chips used in the server. And from the system (server) manufacturers, is the lack of X86 servers in the market, such as HP, dell and other server vendors support. That is to say, the IBM open Power architecture, whether in the most fundamental chip level, or in the system (server vendors) level were lack of initial Power to restore its growth. Want to know what the Intel X86 architecture is now the server market (including data center, cloud computing, etc.) almost 100% of the market. Under this kind of absolute inferiority, the initial motivation is particularly important.

the third is to ARM in mobile Internet devices market compared to lower license fees, Power architecture of so-called open license fee has always been a mystery. But from IBM said many times I hope through the relevant authorized Power architecture can boost the IBM hardware revenue and the cost of never mentioned compared with X86 server, at least the advantage of its open Power architecture is not the cost and price, but the fact is known to all, the reason why the Power go today due to poor performance and open, the high cost is one of the main reasons.

the fourth is the IBM open after the Power architecture ecosystem (application). Because after opening, IBM will be the main partners Power + Linux (for AIX does not open), which means close to rebuild its ecosystem. It is said that at present in view of the application in more than 500 kinds of Power + Linux, this has to do with X86 ecosystem (X86 and X86 Linux + + Windows), compared to thousands of applications don’t have the ability to compete, but who knows, the establishment of an ecosystem needs huge investment, while IBM is leading role, but the Open Power alliance members will also have to share these costs. Importantly, for the customer, with a mature and more application of X86 ecosystem, need not and migrated to the Power of Linux + reason in where?

5 is besides X86 the rival, the ARM is through its success in the mobile Internet market into the server market, and its low cost and will undoubtedly become the Power’s biggest rivals on price. On X86 perfect ecosystem sniper, under the ARM back, to say the Power after opening the market, it is difficult to reflect its advantages.

based on the analysis of the simple, in our view, the IBM open its Power architecture is its may end up out of the final hardware market madness and precursors, together with its selling X86 server business, after rumors about its sell chips and factory have been continuously, exit IBM hardware market may be not far off.