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Non-IBM Power8 servers, chips to appear early next year

Agam Shah | July 25, 2014
Servers, chips and components are under development as part of third-party licensing deals.

But IBM still faces an uphill battle in getting server makers to move to Power, Brookwood said.

Server infrastructure is too invested in x86 and companies will be hesitant to move to a new architecture. That requires developing software, which takes time, money and resources, Brookwood said.

"The problem with computing systems on a shrinking user and application base is they go away. It happened to DEC Alpha, Tandem NonStop, it's happened to dozens of systems," Brookwood said.

Sun Microsystems, now owned by Oracle, opened up its Sparc microarchitecture through OpenSparc, but it didn't work out. Hewlett-Packard is also moving away from the Itanium chip and providing a path to migrate to x86 chips.

But if IBM plays its cards right, there's a chance Power can live on.

"To ensure the longevity of Power8 is to get other people to use it and develop on it," Brookwood said.

 

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