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IBM's New Processors To Exceed 5Ghz

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the now-you-are-playing-with-power dept.

IBM 250

Jordin Normisky writes to mention the news, via ZDNet Asia, that IBM's new Power6 processor will be unveiled next month at a conference in San Francisco. They're also planning to announce a second-generation Cell, both of which are expected to run faster than 5GHz. From the article: "In addition, the [Power6] chip 'consumes under 100 watts in power-sensitive applications,' a power range comparable to mainstream 95-watt AMD Opteron chips and 80-watt Intel Xeon chips. Power6 has 700 million transistors and measures 341 square millimeters, according to the program. The smaller that a chip's surface area is, the more that can be carved out of a single silicon wafer, reducing per-chip manufacturing costs and therefore making a computer more competitive. Power6, like the second-generation Cell, is built with a manufacturing process with 65-nanometer circuitry elements, letting more electronics be squeezed onto a given surface area. "

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250 comments

And here I thought... (3, Interesting)

TobyWong (168498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463050)

I thought we had finally advanced past the "higher clockspeed = more better" stage...

Re:And here I thought... (1)

High Hat (618572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463142)

Seems like Netburst all over again to me.

Re:And here I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17464164)

Seem like you don't understand the Power line of CPUs.

Re:And here I thought... (2, Funny)

SNR monkey (1021747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463176)

I was surprised by the flaunting of 5GHz too because I was under the impression we were firmly in the "more cores = more better" era.

Re:And here I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17463184)

I thought we had finally advanced past the "higher clockspeed = more better" stage...

That's the American market. It's all about size and speed: not about efficiency. It's like that in every industry. You have to give the people what they want to make a living.

Re:And here I thought... (3, Insightful)

Slippery Pete (941650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463792)

I would agree with you if these chips were being sold to the common user. As of right now, I'm not familiar with any "e-machines" that run the IBM Cell processor. I don't see what IBM has to gain if their 5Ghz processor isn't an improvement on AMD or Intel because both of those companies already have a substantial amout of the market for home users. I can only assume these chips will be used in high-end products only.

Re:And here I thought... (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463212)

"I thought we had finally advanced past the "higher clockspeed = more better" stage..."

For performance issues, possibly, but not for pure bragging rights.

Re:And here I thought... (4, Informative)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463264)

In a race to see who can move all the water from one basin to another...

"I carry a 1 gallon bucket and run around in circles 5,000,000 times a second. I'm faster!"

"I carry two 1 gallon buckets and run around in circles 2,500,000 times a second. I'm faster!"

Re:And here I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17463778)

Not all programs have two hands.

Re:And here I thought... (5, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464074)

More importantly, not all programs with two hands know how to use either one of them.

Re:And here I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17464466)

As I understand, being able to have faster processor (without generating more heat) is still a plus. Multiple processors only work to speed up things for multiple tasks or threads. If you have a single thread that demands lots of calculations then you would still be using a single core. Even if you had a gazillion cores, you would still have the limiting factor of that single processor speed.

Re:And here I thought... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464608)

But if you carry one 1 gallon bucket and 8 half gallon buckets around in a circle 5,000,000 times a second think of the water you can move...

Re:And here I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17463302)

Well you wouldn't run a 100KHz machine, would you?

Re:And here I thought... (2, Interesting)

zensonic (82242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463356)

We have. If you read whats being said about power6 it hasn't got a deeper pipeline. So nobody knows how they do it. ..... If they actually are able to keep the promises, but thats another story.

Re:And here I thought... (3, Interesting)

andy314159pi (787550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463404)

The older power3 chips (350 mhz) can compete with an intel 2.0 ghz chipset for our computations. However because alot of our stuff is very poorly written it caches to disk all of the time and the overall build of the rs6000 machines (and their more current versions) was best at managing the heavy throughput from the disk to fast memory. When we finally got our stuff to use a full 64 bit addressing system and we were able to use all of the fast memory that advantage vaporized for the rs6000 machines. Now the stuff we have on the intel machines runs circles around the very expensive power computers we have. The clock speed *was* in fact the "limiting reagent" in the computations when we used the large fast memory that 64 bits allowed us to use.

Re:And here I thought... (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463884)

Big endian is bass ackwards and risc cannot outperform cisc in real applications (only theoretical).

Re:And here I thought... (1)

w1ll0w (658777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464144)

I thought intel and amd processors were risc with a cisc translation unit on them. I totally agree with the big endian comment.

Re:And here I thought... (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464546)

The whole point of RISC is that there is no translation - that makes the chips simpler and therefore easier to produce, so easier to make run fast, or easier to throw more chips or cores at a job.

If there's a translation then it's CISC, no translation - RISC
At least that was the original idea, I don't think there's any true RISC chips out there any more....

Re:And here I thought... (1)

w1ll0w (658777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465142)

that's what my understanding was, it started with amd and intel started doing it not long after. So the chips cores are risc and the cisc translation units convert those instructions to risc. I believe IBM, Sun and MIPS still adhere to the risc concepts.

Re:And here I thought... (4, Informative)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465198)

Big endian is bass ackwards and risc cannot outperform cisc in real applications (only theoretical).
PowerPC can operate in either big or little endian mode. PPC Macs were big endian because MacOS always operates PowerPC in big endian mode (originally to ease compatibility with 680x0.)

Re:And here I thought... (3, Insightful)

Binder (2829) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463534)

With Intel's chips that was becoming increasingly true. But for IBM's power processors more clock does indeed mean faster. The Power line already outperformed Intel per clock. With the increase in clock things may get very interesting.

Re:And here I thought... (5, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463578)

ssshhh...I'm currently working on a way to glue a 10ghz crystal on a 8086 chip and (truthfully) sell them as "an x86 processor with a 10ghz clock".

Re:And here I thought... (2, Funny)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464824)

You could always use duct tape. No where in your quote block do you use the words functional or integrated. ;)

Re:And here I thought... (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463844)

No...we have advanced beyond seeing clock speed as the sole measure of performance. Obviously within the same processor type, a faster clock = better. I bumped my new E6600 up to 2.88GHz because it achieves significantly higher scores in synthetic and real benchmarks. Unless IBM's architecture totally sucks or is not useful for generic computing tasks, 5GHz is still pretty damn impressive.

Re:And here I thought... (4, Interesting)

Binder (2829) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464018)

Here are some numbers concerning spec/Ghz.
IBM/s chips are very good performers / clock and the increased clock should do wonders.
Intel's P4 for instance was terrible on a per clock basis.

proc Ghz specint2000 specint/Ghz specfp2000 specfp/Ghz
opteron 3.0 2119 706.3 2365 788.3
Intel P4 3.8 1834 483.4 2091 550.2
Intel Core 2 2.66 2848 1070.6 2673 1004.8
IBM Power5 2.1 1747 831.9 3324 1582.8

please forgive the nasty table

Re:And here I thought... (5, Informative)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464982)

CPU         GHz   specint2000 specint/Ghz specfp2000 specfp/Ghz
Opteron     3.0   2119        706.3       2365       788.3
Intel P4    3.8   1834        483.4       2091       550.2
Intel Core2 2.66  2848        1070.6      2673       1004.8
IBM Power5  2.1   1747        831.9       3324       1582.8

I gave myself a headache trying to read your table, I hope you don't mind. I also apparently missed the 3GHz Opteron launch in '06...but things still don't look good for AMD.

Re:And here I thought... (4, Insightful)

Cutie Pi (588366) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464062)

Keep in mind that Power chips are used in high end servers, not commodity PCs. Given the expense of these servers, it's likely that the "OFMG 5GHZ!!!!111" reaction that typifies that commodity PC fanboy market does not apply. I doubt that IBM is sacrificing performance just to market 5GHz speeds (like Intel did with NetBurst).

Re:And here I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17464122)

Are there any benchmarks for the first cell?

Re:And here I thought... (0, Offtopic)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464278)

If I replace the CPU in a PS3 with the new cell, will I be able to finish a game faster?

Someone please explain cpu clockspeeds (1)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465184)

There are clock speeds and there are operations. I know what an operation is, but how are cpu clockspeeds rated? Is it just something as silly as their clock source? By defination it is "cycles per second", but what exactly is cycling? I've always been confused by this and I think I just don't understand how digital processors work enough.

Macintoshes (0)

lessthanjakejohn (766177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463068)

I think that apple will move back to these processors in it's Mac Pro's computers. THey might have signed a contract with Intel forbidding them to do this, but I think that it would be more advantageous and use whatever processor is the best at the moment.

'move back'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17463244)

Apple has never used the Power architecture in Macs. It used PowerPC, which isn't the same.

Re:Macintoshes (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463366)

Why would apple move back to these processors over intel?
\
Just because IBM made a new family of processors?

This does not mean they are better then intels or amds processors.

Re:Macintoshes (2, Interesting)

nocomment (239368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463668)

Move back? They were never on them. POWER6 != powerpc (though they are similar in more ways than not).

I think Apple is perfectly happy with the Intel move at this point. One of the reasons for the migration (if you can get past Jobs' reality distortion field of blah blah per watt or whatever) was that IBM wasn't able to keep up with demand, either with getting the speeds up, or with delivering the slow crappy ones they already had.

Re:Macintoshes (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464276)

Move back? They were never on them. POWER6 != powerpc (though they are similar in more ways than not).

I think Apple is perfectly happy with the Intel move at this point. One of the reasons for the migration (if you can get past Jobs' reality distortion field of blah blah per watt or whatever) was that IBM wasn't able to keep up with demand, either with getting the speeds up, or with delivering the slow crappy ones they already had.


Well, no, Apple never used POWER6 specifically, but they did use PPC, and IBM's current marketing literature says that PowerPC is POWER. They used to say POWER was PowerPC, but anyhow, according to:
http://www-03.ibm.com/chips/power/aboutpower/ [ibm.com]

"Power Architecture encompasses PowerPC®, POWER4(TM) and POWER5(TM) processors."

So, Apple won't use POWER6. Apple never used the earlier "POWER" branded chips because they never built any systems that would use them. Macs just aren't that big. Also, Apple has switched completely to X86, and hasn't bothered to really keep alive any hope of a mixed platform for the Mac. But, if Apple did move to POWER6, it would count as going back to the old architecture, rather than moving to a brand new one.

Comparisons as well (1)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464972)

This also puts Apple in a good situation, AT NO POINT do they have computers that are inferior to their competition. Before, if Motorola or IBM outmatched Intel, Apple had bragging rights, if Intel beat them, then they were at a disadvantage. Now, if there is a supply issue in x86 land, then Dell, HP, and Apple are all in the same boat. Apple now competes on its software, not on Motorola/IBM's interest in beating Intel.

At PPC was often a disadvantage and only occasionally an advantage for Apple, they get chips out of the equation all together, and now fight on software, a much better boat to be in for them. They have the same suppliers as HP and Dell, a decent size economies of scale situation (they are the 4th or 5th biggest hardware manufacturer, so while Dell and HP are bigger, they are still a HUGELY lucrative account), and have their software advantage over other PC makers. The different CPU issue just confused the matter...

They'd have had a BIG edge if they went with x86-64 off the bat, and never had any legacy x86-32 code to deal with, giving a performance edge over windows, but I just don't understand migrating to x86 when x86-32 only had 6 months of life left in it instead of waiting for x86-64 and having a performance edge for 5-10 years, but that's just me.

Re:Macintoshes (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464986)

I always end up explaining this when POWER chips come up on slashdot.

"PowerPC" is a family of processors implementing the PowerPC instruction set. IBM's 970MP processor (also known as a G5) is PowerPC. So are IBM's POWER3, POWER4, POWER5, and POWER6. So is Motorola/Freescale's G4. So is the Cell.

So if Apple made the incredibly unlikely move of using POWER6's in their PowerMac line, they would indeed be returning to the PowerPC architecture.

Re:Macintoshes (2, Interesting)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463910)

First of all, switch to a Power6 based architecture is not something you simple do. It takes a LOT of effort in writing the OS to function on the new architecture, not to mention all the work by developers to make their programs function on it as well. Second, Apple didn't choose Intel because they were the "best at the moment" uP supplier. They chose Intel because Apples felt they had a better future than the PowerPC line. So, even if someone, like Power6, does poke their head above Intel/x86 in performance, Apple is content that Intel will surpass them and continue producing good CPU's. Apple did not switch to x86 based processors lightly.

Re:Macintoshes (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464522)

From the an Applications point of view moving from the PPC to the POWER line would be a none issue. Just recompile if that.
For the OS it may be a bit of a challenge but far less than moving from the PPC to Intel.
It is often used in mid-range systems and work stations. It is big, fast, and usually expensive. This is a step to keep the power line above the X86 not really to catch up.

Apple didn't use the Power line it used the PPC line of CPUs.
I do agree that this will not make any difference to Apple which is too bad. I would love to be free of the nasty mess that is the X86.

Re:Macintoshes (1)

Da3vid (926771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464734)

As a game developer, I can say with some confidence that Apple's decisions are NOT influenced by difficulty incurred by developers to get their software to run properly on any number of different versions floating around, which are in many ways incompatible with each other

Re:Macintoshes (1)

p!ssa (660270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464756)

I think manufacturing capability was the main concern for Apple making the switch, IBM couldnt provide enough chips and wasnt motivated to go the extra mile. Switching to Intel meant they could get the future whiz-bang tech and have enough supply to significantly increase sales on H/W.

Re:Macintoshes (5, Insightful)

nwhitehorn (1044658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464786)

It was never about performance per se -- there are plenty of faster things out there than the Core 2 Duo. IBM will be happy to sell you some of them, as will Sun or Fujitsu. Or Cray. All for the low price of $600k a machine.

The issue is that IBM makes supercomputers, and Motorola makes cellphones, and they design their chips accordingly. Apple, making neither of these things, couldn't persuade either of them to make a low-power, fast, cheap CPU useful for a laptop and continue updating it with such a small market. Intel, on the other hand, spends most of their engineering effort trying to solve exactly this problem, and so has its business interests aligned with Apple's, as opposed to IBM or Motorola, who didn't really care about them at all, and would happily spend their R&D money on designing things like this chip instead of making a G5 that would fit in a laptop.

Re:Macintoshes (1)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464936)

I think you are a bit closer to the truth than I was. Apple has a much more stable supply and future feature increase with Intel than it ever did with the PPC architecture.

Re:Macintoshes (1)

supermonkeycool (641966) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465212)

Sure they did. I was with Steve-O when he made the decision. We were drinking soy lattes when he exclaimed, "Fuck this shit. My chi is all fucked up. I am sick of this AIM bullshit. I'm switching to Intel. POWER my ass. Fuck those fucking fucks. x86, baby." I was there. He said it, I *swear*.

Leakage. (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463070)

Any EE care to chime in with how IBM might have gone about solving their power consumption issues?

It's seemed that IBM, Intel, and AMD have all had issues dealing with leakage moving to the 65nm process, but Intel and IBM have now apparently solved the issue. As a mere hobbyist, I don't even approach the knowledge level necessary to speculate on such things, but I STILL WANT TO KNOW.

Re:Leakage. (1)

ScriptMonkey (660975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463400)

I think its a bit telling that very careful wording was used when describing the power and performance. From the article:

Big Blue said the chip's clockBig Blue said the chip's clock will tick at a rate "over 5GHz in high-performance applications".

and

In addition, the chip "consumes under 100 watts in power-sensitive applications,"

This of course means that the Power6 chips won't be able to run at 5GHz WHILE consuming under 100 watts. It looks like IBM paid careful attention to power consumption while designing this thing, but Power6's performance/power ratio doesn't look significantly different that the offerings from the likes of Intel and AMD.

Re:Leakage. (1)

chipace (671930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463654)

They pay the leakage, AND take a hit on IPC. This allows for faster sequential processing, but not by a large margin over Intel's 65nm. It's pure bull$hit because Intel will equal that performance when they hit 45nm a year from now... and probably at half the power or less.

I would expect to see this type of approach after 45nm, when the process nodes really slow down.

You're right to assume there's no free lunch.

Re:Leakage. (1)

jackstack (618328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464116)

While I don't know what IBM has done specifically for this processor, a catch-phrase that often comes up when talking about solving leakage is "high-K" dielectric. This means that instead of oxidizing the Si surface, they *grow* the dielectric from a different material (often halfnium or zirconium).

From: http://www.intel.com/technology/silicon/high-k.htm [intel.com]

"These new materials, along with the right process recipe, reduce gate leakage more than 100-fold, while delivering record transistor performance... This thicker class of materials, known as "high-k," is likely to replace today's silicon dioxide technology in the next few years."

Re:Leakage. (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464282)

Probably just more asynchronous parts and different chemicals/doping used which minimizes it... but that's pure speculation.

We've heard that before. (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463088)

Usually from the bell-end of Apple. I wonder if IBM's fab plants can cash the check their PR department writes.

Re:We've heard that before. (4, Insightful)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463478)

Exactly, Has IBM yet hit the 3.0 GHz they promised Apple 3 years ago?

Re:We've heard that before. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17464346)

Why would they need to? These POWER chips are NOT the same thing as the low end "PowerPC" chips used in cheap Apple type computers. These are made for workstations and servers, which is why you can get things like 4 cores and 32MB of second level cache per core in the POWER5+. Nothing coming out of Intel or AMD can match it for raw performance, but for the kind of thing the typical Apple or Linux zealot does, its overkill.

Re:We've heard that before. (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464644)

I KNOW they are not the same. I was just point out OLD speed promises from IBM that never came to pass.

And be careful of labeling things as overkill here in /., or else the "Nobody will ever need more than 640k RAM!" retort will quickly follow.

Re:We've heard that before. (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465040)

The Xenon processor in the XBox 360 is a triple core PPC based chip that's clocked at 3.2Ghz.

Re:We've heard that before. (2, Informative)

tppublic (899574) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463482)

I wonder if IBM's fab plants can cash the check their PR department writes

These are the engineers, including at least one IBM Fellow (the second author)... this is not the PR department. I expect these folks would not take their reputations in the engineering community lightly.

Products (2, Funny)

FadedTimes (581715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463120)

If I owned an as/400, i/z series server, maybe this would be exciting news as a future upgrade.

Re:Products (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463292)

You may not have an AS400 like I do, but your kids might ask for the next Xbox.

You would be surprised where they are... (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464590)

pSeries, iSeries, and zSeries, are still hard at work doing same they have always done, running banks, distribution centers, and the like. The difference is that mini's and mainframes don't need glossy magazines so that people know they get work done, they just do it.

If you look at the direction AMD is going you will see the archietecture so common in the mini/mainframe areana is coming down to the home.

It was always hilarious to hear the network guys brag about their 4-way network tower with its 8gb plus of ram, they loved to lord those numbers over the iseries folks, too bad that the 512mb uniprocessor iseries box served more people. It took a while to educate the pc-nuts (and I am a pc nut as much as an i/p/zseries nut) that processor and memory do not make a computer. It is design and integration that makes a computer.

plus having a real OS doesn't hurt either.

Besides IBM never needed Apple's marketshare, they conquered the world of home entertainment without ever exposing themselves to much risk

Work-per-clock cycle? (3, Insightful)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463152)

But do they achieve a comparable amount of work per cycle?

--
Wi-Fizzle Research [wi-fizzle.com]

Re:Work-per-clock cycle? (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463858)

well, they have a much smaller instruction set, to make things "simpler". So they will need many instructions to do some things that an x86 can do in one instruction. So I doubt it. If they are lucky, they may equal a maxed out x86.

Re:Work-per-clock cycle? (3, Informative)

stephentyrone (664894) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464114)

Yes, but the complex x86 instructions (and many simpler ones as well) take more than one cycle to execute. The relevant measure isn't the number of instructions required to accomplish a task, but the number of cycles required. You can easily concoct examples for which x86 requires fewer instructions but more cycles.

Manufacturing Cost has little to do with it... (2, Informative)

deviantphil (543645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463172)

The smaller that a chip's surface area is, the more that can be carved out of a single silicon wafer, reducing per-chip manufacturing costs and therefore making a computer more competitive. Power6, like the second-generation Cell, is built with a manufacturing process with 65-nanometer circuitry elements, letting more electronics be squeezed onto a given surface area.

The cost of making chips, by far, is the R&D cost. The "first" chip costs hundreds of millions to make. Once the "first chip" is made the margin cost is VERY low. Beyond recovering R&D costs....the rest is just distribution channel costs....then....PROFIT!

Size matters (4, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463618)

Once the "first chip" is made the margin cost is VERY low.

Boy, Howdy! are you out of the loop. I work on those suckers and believe you me, the chip cost is not trivial.

Do the math: the cost of a 300 mm wafer in a 65 nm process runs well over $5000 (how much is a Deep Dark Secret.) Ignoring geometric yield loss, that's about 70,000 mm of potential dice per. If one chip is 350 square mm, you're getting about 200 per wafer, or $25 per chip fab cost. Yield drops off steeply with size (think in terms of losing ten to twenty dice per wafer, regardless of die size) and that adds into the fab cost too.

That's bare minimum, assuming there aren't any bad lots etc. It adds up fast.

Re:Size matters (1)

tacocat (527354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463870)

I don't think he was every in the loop. It's been like this since the first Apple Lisa's came out and before. Material cost and manufacturing costs are far from trivial.

Re:Manufacturing Cost has little to do with it... (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463736)

Once the "first chip" is made the margin cost is VERY low.
... assuming you get decent yield. I once read that high single digit percentages were considered good when starting up a new process technology. With smaller feature sizes this can only get worse.

Re:Manufacturing Cost has little to do with it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17464254)

The cost of making chips, by far, is the R&D cost. The "first" chip costs hundreds of millions to make. Once the "first chip" is made the margin cost is VERY low. Beyond recovering R&D costs....the rest is just distribution channel costs....then....PROFIT!

Wow, that's probably the most ignorant statement I've ever read.

Re:Manufacturing Cost has little to do with it... (1)

tbischel (862773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464392)

In our microfab class, we calculated that the energy used to fab a cpu outstrips the energy used to run it over the life of the chip. I don't know if you've checked your electric bill recently... but that is a good chunk of change to be blowing on a defective chip from the get-go. If they can increase the yield by reducing the size (while maintaining competitive performance), there is a ton of money to be made.

Re:Manufacturing Cost has little to do with it... (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465222)

R&D is not a cost of production, it's a cost of doing business. The cost of production is higher at the beginning, not because of R&D but because of new processes/machines that need to have the kinks worked out (less good units being produced in a given amount of time).

Plus costs such as R&D are typically ammortized.

Apple (0, Offtopic)

thoughtlover (83833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463174)

You know, I've never been happy with Apple's decision to start using Intel's offerings. I don't care if Intel has a roadmap for putting over 100 cores in a chip. IBM has always made a superior chip. If only IBM and Motorola didn't have such dismal shipping problems, maybe this wouldn't be the reality we now know.
 

65 nm hardly to brag about (4, Interesting)

mnmn (145599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463180)

They would get bragging rights with 45nm. 65nm is so old that even AMD has 65nm chips now.

Heck philips/motorola I believe have been producing 65nm microcontrollers, and samsung is producing 50nm flash chips.

And 5GHz should not be difficult considering it doesnt have the x86 overhead, is more RISC and that generally PPC has a simpler core. I'll be interested if it comes with quad cores or more.

Re:65 nm hardly to brag about (4, Informative)

leoxx (992) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464588)

You do realize that the CURRENT generation of POWER5+ CPU's are already quad-core [ibm.com], right? Honestly, guys, you all need to read up on what makes POWER [wikipedia.org] different from PowerPC [wikipedia.org]. One is a server or workstation class chip, the other is a desktop class one.

Re:65 nm hardly to brag about (1)

Laglorden (87845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464632)

Of course it will come with quad core (or more). Power4 was the first chip with dual core. Power5 has quad core now and had it before Intel did. Why shouldn't Power6 come with at least Quadcore chips? Remember these are Server-chips, servers = lots of cores

Re:65 nm hardly to brag about (2, Insightful)

hump_ (125049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464888)

producing 65nm microcontrollers, and samsung is producing 50nm flash chips.

Fair enough.

But do these chips come with 32Mb of L3 Cache, have the fastest Fiber Channel Bus Interconnect in the market, and allow for extremely flexible, multi-platform OS true hardware virtualization?

Performance comparisons between x86 and RISC chips in my opinion are really not valid. What you really want to look at is system workload. Scalability is where the POWER chips really perform and these chips are designed for the high-end server market.

see for yourself [ibm.com]

avoiding the obvious? (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463202)

They're also planning to announce a second-generation Cell, both of which are expected to run faster than 5GHz.

Why don't they seem to be making any kind of performance comparisons? Talking about physical size, power consumption as compared to intel & AMD are great, but it seems weird that there's no mention of real-world performance against those same competitors. Even a rough estimate would be interesting.

Re:avoiding the obvious? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463398)

Even a rough estimate would be interesting.

Yes, it's always interesting to see what sort of lies someone feels compelled to tell, if only to get a clue as to what sort of truths they will feel compelled to deny.

KFG

Check out www.tpc.org... (1)

Laglorden (87845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464586)

Power5+ cpus have been king of the tpc hill since they were first introduced. Power6 will only increase that lead i suspect.

i wonder (1)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463270)

Maybe the BogoMIPS value for it is too large for linux_logo to process (16-bit number if i am right)

Sweeeeet! (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463380)

I think I know how they're doing the clocking -- they presented on that at ISSCC [isscc.org] two years ago.

There should be some really interesting stuff this year on how they kept the power down.

Of course, a chip nearly 2 cm on a side is going to be a beast no matter what. This is going to be fun!

Yeah! (5, Funny)

radu.stanca (857153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463488)

In your face, Steve Jobs!

Re:Yeah! (1)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464112)

Not exactly. IBM has only announced this chip and from what I have seen it's not even a PPC chip anyway. Apple is CURRENTLY shipping dual core Xeon systems and will more than likely announce quad-core systems next week, similar to systems already shipping from PC makers like Dell. By the time the Power6 makes the jump from vaporware to reality we might see an 8-core Intel chip shipping in the high end Macs.

Re:Yeah! (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464264)

Not to mention IBM's long history of over-promising and under-delivering, like telling Apple they'd have 3 ghz chips within a year of the 970's release.

Next generation Cell into PS3? (5, Funny)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463630)

It would be ludicrous, but Kutaragi's talked before about never reducing the price of the PS3 but instead upgrading it with more memory, bigger hard drives, etc. It would be pretty damned amusing if, a year and a half after PS3 launch, instead of cutting prices with a new easier to produce Cell and Blu-ray they upgraded the PS3 with the Cell2(and hosed everyone who'd already bought one). This would be so stupid and arrogant that it's only plausible because it's Sony.

Only plausible becuase its sony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17463898)

Apple has been doing this for years

Re:Only plausible becuase its sony? (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464732)

The entire point of having a console over a computer is that any game that is released for the console is guaranteed to run on it, and run well, whether it's released 6 months or years after the console's release. General purpose computers don't tend to work that way. Therefore, if Sony were to do that, all the newer, better games would be unplayable on the old consoles, thus the early adopters get screwed out of all newer games. Typical Sony.

Re:Next generation Cell into PS3? (1)

staticneuron (975073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465268)

Yeah, typical sony. They tried to pull similar crap with the PS1 and the PS2 and the PSP a..... uh, wait.........

Anyone else on the internet care to make up stuff about sony? I hear its very fashionable this time of year.

Perpetuating myths (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17463958)

So what if IBM's new chips run at 5GHz or more? What about gigaflops?

I had hoped the majority of slashdotters would be able to see past the megahertz myth by now.

Apparently not.

Re:Perpetuating myths (1)

Binder (2829) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464268)

So what if the nvidia g80 is theoritically capable of 520 gigaflops?

I had hoped the majority of slashdotters would be able to see past the flops myth by now. :)

Re:Perpetuating myths (3, Funny)

_Swank (118097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464296)

we've moved past the megahertz myth. we're stuck on the gigahertz myth now.

Keep in mind, this is a promise (2, Insightful)

iPaul (559200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464768)

In the world of technology a promise of more/better performance counts as much as a drunken "I love you." One reason why Apple jumped from PPC is that IBM failed to deliver a 3.0 Ghz chip within a reasonable time frame (in the PPC970 series) and completely failed on delivering a laptop chip. Believe it when you actually see shipping servers.

DRAM latency/bandwidth or interconnect? (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17464920)

5GHz is great, especially if they can keep the leakage to a manageable level, but what DRAM and interconnect technology do they have to keep these chips fed with instructions and data? What good is 5GHz if half the cycles are spent stalled waiting for an L2 miss to come back from DRAM or another chip's L2? Increasing L2 cache size can help but it's not a panacea.

Anyone have an answer?

But does it run Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17465248)

If not, who cares? Let the flames begin.

96 comments and not one....? (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465286)

I did a search with my threshold turned down to 1, and no one asked the most important question yet. But does it run Linux?
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