IBM extends its commitment to open hardware

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IBM has used the Linux Foundation Open Source Summit today to announce that it will contribute key technologies to the open community.

The company is opening up the POWER Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), the definitions developers use for ensuring that hardware and software work together on POWER.

With the ISA and other technologies being contributed to the open community, developers can build new hardware that takes advantage of POWER's enterprise-leading capabilities to process data-intensive workloads and create new software applications for AI and hybrid cloud built to take advantage of the hardware’s unique capabilities.

IBM will also contribute multiple other technologies including a softcore implementation of the POWER ISA, as well as reference designs for the architecture-agnostic Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (OpenCAPI) and the Open Memory Interface (OMI). The OpenCAPI and OMI technologies help maximize memory bandwidth between processors and attached devices, which is critical to overcoming performance bottlenecks for emerging workloads like AI.

"With today's announcement IBM is taking another significant step in driving innovation across the industry through open technology and open source," says IBM's OpenPOWER general manager Ken King. "With our recent Red Hat acquisition and today’s announcement, IBM becomes the only processor vendor and POWER becomes the only architecture with a completely open system stack, from the foundation of the hardware through the software stack."

IBM has also collaborated with the OpenPOWER Foundation to announce that OpenPOWER will move under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation, and will operate consistently with the Linux Foundation's open governance principles.

"Back in 2013 we were excited to see that IBM took the first steps in opening the company's POWER architecture," says Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. "The Linux Foundation itself has seen rising interest in open hardware communities and working with OpenPOWER Foundation will continue to make the OpenPOWER and open hardware technologies available to a growing, global audience."

You can find out more on the IBM site.

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