OpenPower Wants to Be Intel Alternative Here and in China
The server gear the consortium unveiled at the OpenPower Summit showed the speed of innovation that open development can bring, officials say.The stars of the first-ever OpenPower Foundation Summit this week were 15 pieces of hardware, lined up onstage as proof points of the speedy innovation happening within the 15-month-old consortium. The hardware—including servers, developer platforms, adapter cards and silicon—represented the broad range of companies that make up the 110-member group, which includes IBM, Nvidia, Google, Rackspace and Mellanox Technologies. Member vendors that may not be household names include Cirrascale, Inspur, Tyan and Nallatech. OpenPower officials said the gear they were showing is a clear indication that OpenPower will become the primary alternative to dominant player Intel in the data center, and that the contest will be as much about business models as it is about products. In addition, OpenPower intends to become a significant technology presence in the booming Chinese market, where the government is urging the country’s tech industry to leverage products from Chinese companies. Several of the pieces of hardware on display at the summit were from Chinese companies like ChuangHe and Inspur (servers), Zoom Netcom (server board), and Suzhou PowerCore, which worked with IBM to develop the CP1, a Power-based chip for the Chinese market.
The officials also spoke about the 31-member China Power Technology Alliance (CPTA), which is using the Power processor architecture to build tech products in China. An official with Suzhou PowerCore told attendees at the summit, which was held in San Jose, Calif., that the "CPTA's goals are to bring Power technology to China, develop a processor technology that is locally 'controllable,' and transform the server business in China into a 100% local stack, as an alternative to Intel," Roger Kay, principal analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, wrote in a column for Forbes.