Power.org Kicks Off Power Architecture Conference, Releases Specs

The first-ever Power Architecture(TM) Developer Conference kicked off with a core theme of “breaking down the barriers to innovation” and includes a diverse and extensive technical curriculum, announcements from member companies and new Power.org(TM) specifications and services for the Power Architecture community.

“Power.org is using the incredible momentum around Power Architecture technology to bring people and ideas together,” said Roland Hagan, chair of Power.org’s Board of Directors. “This conference is a showcase for the innovative and novel thinking that results when a community works together in an open forum like Power.org.”

Power.org Specifications Gear Up
Power.org is advancing the work of the Power Architecture roadmap through the collaborative effort of its member companies to drive new specifications and services, and by its members’ intensive efforts to expand the ecosystem with Power Architecture products. Leveraging an open, collaborative vision and the industry’s best-practices in design engineering, Power.org(TM) announced the availability of The Power Architecture LINUX Developer Toolkit and Reference Platform, 970 MP Edition and previewed the Power ISA version 2.05 specification, and the soon-to-be released Power Architecture Platform Requirements for embedded systems (ePAPR) specification.

Power.org(TM) introduced the Power Architecture LINUX Developer Toolkit and Reference Platform, 970MP Edition, an offering that helps members and their customers lower cost of development and accelerate their product’s time to market. Based on the Power Architecture 2-socket dual-core 970MP reference platform, this offering is available as both a high performance Toolkit to developers, and as a reference design to all members preferring to make their own products. All elements of the system’s design are open including specifications and schematics, firmware source code, the XEN hypervisor source code, and the LINUX kernel code, allowing developers to create an optimal solution for their applications.

The Power Architecture Advisory Council (PAAC) plans to publish Power ISA version 2.05 in October 2007. It will contain significant extensions first implemented by the POWER6(TM) server processor including decimal floating point, multimedia extensions, and server virtualization improvements. In addition, Power ISA version 2.06 work is already underway, with a publication target of the second half 2008. It will contain extensions for the POWER7(TM) processor and significant enhancements to the embedded architecture, such as an embedded hypervisor privilege mode that will bring new levels of virtualization capability and partitioning for single- and multi-core devices to the embedded space.

Power.org(TM) Power Architecture Platform Requirements for embedded systems (ePAPR), an extensible embedded specification designed to strengthen the Power Architecture platform across embedded applications, is expected to be available in late Q42007. The ePAPR specification is designed to reduce the time and effort spent on basic implementation such as on board, firmware, and software design, integration, and validation, allowing OEMs and ODMs to focus on their own value-added designs. ePAPR will address a broad cross-section of platform functionality for embedded applications, with a core set of requirements, as well as optional requirements that provide for multiple implementation points. The platform architecture will take an end-to-end user and solution view to ensure all necessary and appropriate platform architecture elements are considered.

The Power.org Technical Committee announced the formation of two new subcommittees, the Power Application Binary Interface Technical Subcommittee and the Embedded Hypervisor Technical Subcommittee, collaborative efforts designed to simplify development and ensure relevance for the Power Architecture technology platform in next generation designs. The Power Application Binary Interface Technical Subcommittee is working to create a set of unified ABI documents that includes the merged Power Architecture specification and existing coding standards. Creating a single point of reference that is widely accessible to all Power Architecture developers will facilitate porting code to the Power Architecture family of products by third party tool and operating systems developers, the LINUX community, and customers interfacing assembly code to programs.

The Embedded Hypervisor Technical Subcommittee will enable collaboration between member companies contributing to hypervisor development, by providing a common set of software virtualization interfaces. This work is essential in driving the competitiveness of Power Architecture technology in embedded hardware and operating system designs as virtualization becomes a more critical factor in embedded processor architecture selection and systems design.

Power.org Services and Programs
Power.org’s leadership in understanding the competitive architecture position, building ecosystem solutions from a position of strength, and creating the right climate for innovation that embraces ideas from a large network of developers, drives the development of highly targeted, compelling solutions.

  • Power.org completed the Power Architecture Market Model, the most comprehensive research study ever undertaken on Power Architecture processors and the diverse markets they serve. The research, conducted by IDC, features a unique data analysis tool to help users identify and gauge emerging growth opportunities for the Power Architecture technology platform. The Power Architecture Market Model focuses on the embedded processor space. It provides market share data in more than 70 categories of embedded electronics and forecasts both current and future opportunities for Power Architecture processors through 2011. Power.org is providing company-wide licenses for the Power Architecture Market Model to qualifying members at the end of September.
  • Power.org(TM) unveiled the Power Architecture Solutions Stack, a foundational tool developed to help users identify and evaluate readily available Power Architecture technology solution building blocks. The Solutions Stack provides a centralized vendor neutral source of information on Power Architecture applications, products and solutions. The initial version, available for viewing online at www.power.org/solutions, organizes components by technology category and vertical market. All Power ecosystem members interested in expanding exposure for their offerings will be able to submit their products for inclusion in the catalog.
  • The Power Architecture Developer Conference technical program includes 70 presentations and panels on Power Architecture technology from more than 30 companies. The conference offers technical instruction in diverse disciplines from high-performance computing to embedded control applications. Renowned keynote speakers and panels uniting the industry’s best experts will provide unique and diverse insights into applications and designs.

News Announcements from Conference Participants
News announcements are expected from AMCC, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, and Virtutech from throughout the two-day event.

About Power.org
Power Architecture technology is behind millions of innovative products, including the world’s fastest supercomputers, leading video game consoles, and electronic systems in most of today’s car models. Every phone call, email and Web page touches hundreds of Power Architecture systems. The Power.org community, formed in 2005, is the collaborative, open organization driving innovation around Power Architecture(TM) technology through alignment of the instruction set architecture, development of standards and specifications, and nurturing of the Power Architecture brand. Power.org’s mission is to optimize interoperability, accelerate innovation and drive increased adoption of this leading processor architecture.

The Power Architecture and Power.org word marks and the Power and Power.org logos and related marks are trademarks and service marks licensed by Power.org.