Google, Rackspace to Collaborate on OpenPower Server Design

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2016-04-06 Print this article Print
OpenPower server design

Google and Rackspace are working on an OpenPower-based server design codenamed "Zaius" that the two vendors said will work with the 48v racks and that they hope to contribute to the Facebook-led OCP. The dual-socket system will be powered by IBM's upcoming Power9—which is due out in 2017—and will include OpenCAPI and Nvidia's NVLink connectivity, DDR4 memory and the CAPI acceleration technology.

Aaron Sullivan, distinguished engineer at Rackspace, said the OpenPower-based "Barreleye" servers it developed with IBM, Samsung, Mellanox and others in 2016 are beginning to appear in data centers, including Rackspace's OpenStack public cloud. In addition, IBM plans to grow its LC server portfolio to include OpenPower technology as well as OPC-compliant systems.

IBM also is working with Nvidia and original design manufacturer (ODM) Wistron to build a next-generation Power8 system for high-performance computing (HPC) that will use Nvidia's new Tesla P100 GPU accelerators, which was announced at Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference here April 5. The first systems will be available late this year.

The Power9 chips were part of the roadmap that Brad McCredie, vice president of Power development at IBM, an IBM fellow and former OpenPower president, unveiled during the summit. Later this year, IBM will roll out another 22-nanometer Power8 chip that will include Nvidia's NVLink technology.

Next year, the company will roll out Power9 SO, a 14nm design that will include 24 cores (twice that of Power8) and a new microarchitecture and will be aimed at scale-out environments. Later in 2017, the Power9 SU with an enhanced microarchitecture should come, McCredie said. A third Power9 chip also may come next year. Between 2018 and 2020, 10nm and 7nm "partner chips" using the Power8 and 9 architectures may be available.

Power10 will come after 2020, sporting a new microarchitecture.


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