Power.org initiative to advance community of electronics innovation

Fifteen members outline plans for open standards for Power Architecture technology

In a step sure to spark major innovation in the design of consumer electronics, networking, automotive, and IT systems, 15 companies today announced their intention to form Power.org, an open standards community around chips and systems which use Power Architecture technology.

Power microprocessors are the heartbeat of products ranging from video gaming systems and telematics to supercomputers. As one of the industry’s leading high performance customizable microprocessors, it has witnessed tremendous momentum this year.

Coming together to form the Power.org community are AMCC, Bull, Cadence Design Systems, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Culturecom, IBM, Jabil Circuit, Novell, Red Hat, Sony Corporation, Shanghai Belling, Synopsys, Thales, Tundra Semiconductor and Wistron.

More companies are expected to expand the development community in the weeks ahead to accelerate open standards collaboration for Power and PowerPC technology leading to a new generation of applications.

With pooled resources to make specifications readily available to the technical community, Power.org efforts are expected to facilitate creation of new devices and components available for Power microprocessor technology. The development community expects that the next wave of innovation in electronics, in areas such as consumer devices, will require a highly optimizable microprocessor technology, one able to be quickly tuned to create entire new products for growing market segments In addition advances in video gaming, networking, and consumer electronics are demanding integration of products from multiple vendors to deliver new functions.

Open standards are increasingly important in emerging economies such as China. “China is rapidly becoming a key country for the technology industry. With the growth of open standards in both software and hardware, Chinese firms can feel free to embrace and contribute to open technologies while maintaining their own freedom of action and unique differentiation,” said Roger Li, Chief Investor, President, Infotech Ventures, the designated fund manager of the State Electronic & Information Industry Development Fund by the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry.

Power.org’s members intend to define open specifications related to Power Architecture technology with two initial focus areas: bus architecture and high volume servers.

The bus architecture enables different components on the same “system on a chip” to work together. Standardizing the bus architecture eases the integration of technology from multiple vendors. The open server specification is expected to drive large volumes of low cost Power processor-based servers from other companies for emerging applications as well as a larger ecosystem. This should complement many high performance servers available from IBM which is a leader in high end Linux and Unix servers.

Rod Adkins, VP of Development, IBM Systems & Technology Group, said, “We have repeatedly seen how open standards increase customer choice in the marketplace and tear down barriers to integration. By bringing open standards to Power Architecture technology with Power.org, we anticipate acceleration of the rate of change in the hardware world that standards like Java technology and Linux have enabled in the software world.”

Power Architecture technology is a significant change from the non-customizable architecture technologies of the past. It has already introduced multiple generations of dual core microprocessors to the industry and is a key technology behind the emerging processor code-named Cell. Just recently, POWER5 processor-based servers recorded benchmark results with over three million transactions per minute, eclipsing its nearest competitor threefold.

Quotes from member companies on the announcement of Power.org

AMCC
“AMCC is excited to be a founding member of Power.org. AMCC is using the Power Architecture in industry-leading products targeted at storage, communications and pervasive computing markets. Power Architecture offers the best performance, software tools support and overall value proposition in the embedded computing market.”
Brian Wilkie, vice president and general manager, Embedded Products Group, AMCC

Bull
“Bull has contributed for over 12 years in helping IBM in the development of its AIX operating system and Power microprocessor technology. As IBM’s long-term partner, we welcome the Power.org initiative that will help share vision on the future evolution of Power.”
Andre Helie-Joly, vice president, Escala Business Unit, Bull

Cadence Design Systems
“Cadence’s endorsement as a member of Power.org is a natural extension of our long-standing leadership and innovation in driving open standards in the electronics design automation marketplace. We look forward to collaborating with other industry leaders in the Power.org community and to bring to market the best solutions that enable customers to rapidly develop scalable hardware solutions for the electronics marketplace.”
Jan Willis, senior vice president of industry marketing, Cadence Design Systems

Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing
“Openness creates opportunity, and we are pleased to work with IBM as part of the founding group driving an initiative that promotes open standards for the technology industry. Through Chartered’s joint development efforts with IBM and our collaboration on the industry’s first cross-foundry platform at 90 nanometer, we have seen first-hand how customers benefit through access to innovation, by having new choices, leveraging industry-leading technology, and accelerating design. We look forward to enabling that next wave of innovation.”
Kevin Meyer, vice president, worldwide marketing and services, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing

Culturecom
“Our success in eTown, the world true Linux community, together with the breakthrough in our product line ‘the embedded functional computing devices,’ has fully demonstrated the value of PowerPC to the marketplace, as an integral ingredient in the new IT infrastructure.”
Frank Cheung, chairman and CEO, Culturecom

Jabil Circuit
“We are pleased to be a part of the founding of the Power.org consortium. Through this partnership with IBM, we will be able to offer innovative open architecture system designs from our headquarters in Shanghai.”
Bill Muir, senior vice president, regional president, Asia, Jabil Circuit

“The global acceleration of open architecture-based systems and this progressive consortium will enable Jabil’s collaborative early-in-the-system design teams to continue to offer customers innovative solutions.”
Rick Evans, vice president, global business units, Jabil Circuit

Novell
“Novell is proud to be a founding member of Power.org. Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was the first enterprise Linux offering enabled on IBM’s POWER-based eServer pSeries. We look forward to taking our experience and actively contributing to Power.org as the Power platform continues to gain prominence in the industry.”
Hal Bennett, vice president, global alliances, Novell

Red Hat
“Power Architecture will make significant inroads in markets spanning from consumer devices to high end servers, much as Linux has scaled from high-end servers to consumer devices. Enterprise Linux provides customers with choice in their infrastructure by delivering low-cost, flexible and reliable open source solutions for the enterprise. Red Hat will continue to promote standardization and increased scalability in these markets through its Open Source Architecture, a strategy which includes operating systems, connectivity, and infrastructure management.”
Deb Woods, vice president, product management, Red Hat

Shanghai Belling
“China is the world’s largest emerging market for technology, and Shanghai Belling believes the Power technology can meet multiple future product needs and truly make inroads against architectures that cannot call themselves open. That is why we intend to be a member of Power.org,”
Gu Jie, vice president, Shanghai Belling

Synopsys
“As a strong supporter of open industry standards, a two-year collaborator with IBM on Power Architecture, and the leader in EDA tools and standards-based IP, we are ideally placed to benefit as a founding member of Power.org. Our Power architecture partnership with IBM has already included the development of soft versions of two different Power Architecture cores, a CoreConnect-to-AMBA bridge that facilitates Power connections to our industry-leading connectivity IP cores, and the distribution of the soft PPC 440 core in DesignWare Library. Now that the Power Architecture is being released as a standard, we are already planning new Power-related capabilities for release in the near future.”
John Chilton, senior vice president and general manager of Synopsys’ Solutions Group.

Tundra Semiconductor
“Tundra is dedicated to delivering industry standard interconnect to customers. We have invested significantly in developing and driving open standards such as RapidIO, VMEBus and PCI-X for our System Interconnect products. These types of open standards pave the way for outsourcing, which ultimately drives customers’ costs down and shortens their development cycles. By working collaboratively with IBM and other industry leaders in Power.org to further the adoption of the Power Architecture, we continue to provide our customers with high performance, open platform technology.”
Rick O’Connor, CTO and vice president, product management, Tundra Semiconductor

Wistron Corporation
“The ultimate goal in our industry is accelerating innovation and broadening the use of technology. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to join Power.org, which we feel will help support development of new applications and devices. Cooperation through Power.org will help ensure that new technology platforms and their underlying standards will ultimately give birth to a new generation of products satisfying a broad range of consumer demands in various markets.”
Simon Lin, chairman and CEO, Wistron Corporation