Big IT comes together to open source some IBM hardware and software


Google, IBM, Mellanox, NVIDIA and Tyan today announced plans to form the OpenPOWER Consortium — an open development alliance based on IBM’s POWER microprocessor architecture. The Consortium intends to build advanced server, networking, storage and GPU-acceleration technology aimed at delivering more choice, control and flexibility to developers of next-generation, hyperscale and cloud data centers.

The move makes POWER hardware and software available to open development for the first time as well as making POWER IP licensable to others, greatly expanding the ecosystem of innovators on the platform. The consortium will offer open-source POWER firmware, the software that controls basic chip functions.

As part of their initial collaboration within the consortium, NVIDIA and IBM will work together to integrate the CUDA GPU and POWER ecosystems. OpenPOWER is open to any firm that wants to innovate on the POWER platform and participate in an open, collaborative effort.

“Combining our talents and assets around the POWER architecture can greatly increase the rate of innovation throughout the industry,” says Steve Mills, senior vice president, and group executive, IBM Software & Systems.

Participants say that they wish to change the way data center hardware is designed and deployed. The move could further efforts at the state government level to consolidate and upgrade data centers as more agencies move on to a cloud services environment.