Microservers must Specialize to Survive

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The server market is at a potential inflection point, with a new breed of ARM-based microserver vendors challenging the status quo, particularly for cloud computing. We survey 20 modern processors to understand the options for alternative architectures. To achieve disruptive performance, microserver vendors must deeply specialize in particular workloads. However, there is a trade-off between differentiation and market breadth. As the handful of microserver startups are culled to 1-2 viable vendors, only the companies which deliver compelling advantages to significant markets will survive.

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ISSCC 2008 Cell Processor Update

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In this article David Wang takes a look at the 45nm shrink of the CELL microprocessor, which was presented at ISSCC 2008. He discusses the design trade-offs made in porting CELL to 45nm and the results achieve in terms of power and die size relative to earlier versions of CELL.

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Fall Processor Forum 2006: IBM’s POWER6

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IBM Previews the POWER6 At the MicroProcessor Forum, Dr. Brad McCredie of IBM continued to tease out particulars regarding the POWER6. The presentation discussed a lot of general microarchitecture features, but did not reveal many specific details; a full revelation of the microarchitecture will likely have to wait till ISSCC, next February. However, from the […]

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An eCLipz Looms on the Horizon

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In the Shadow of Poughkeepsie Since the release of the POWER5 MPU, IBM has held an enviable position in the high end server market. IBM’s pSeries servers are unmatched from a performance standpoint, boasting a 2x performance lead over the nearest competitor in TPC-C and within 5% of the #1 SAP 2D result (which is […]

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P.A. Semi’s PA6T-1682M System-on-a-Chip

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Introduction Recently, the computer industry has struggled with the twin issues of power consumption and heat dissipation. Part of this was because architects had assumed that system builders and consumers would be willing to deal with 100W chips, in order to have the highest performance. While the general purpose computation market has been heating up, […]

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CELL Microprocessor III

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This is the third article in a series covering the CELL microprocessor, co-developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba.

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CELL Microprocessor Revisited

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Why? Details on the CELL processor, designed by the collective efforts of Sony, Toshiba and IBM (STI), were previously disclosed at ISSCC 2005. The previous article provided coverage of the hardware details of the CELL processor, based on the information made available at ISSCC 2005. The purpose of this article is to act as a […]

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ISSCC 2005: The CELL Microprocessor

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This article is an overview of the CELL microprocessor as presented at ISSCC 2005 by IBM, Toshiba and Sony.

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Sizing up the Super Heavyweights

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In this Silicon Insider, Paul examines the current, and near future, incarnations of the two server architectures vying for the performance crown: IBM’s POWER and Intel’s IPF.

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The Battle in 64 bit Land: Merchant Chips on the Rise

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This is the fourth article in a series that that started in 2000 with The Looming Battle in 64 bit Land, followed by The Battle in 64 bit Land Revisited in 2001, and The Battle in 64 bit Land, 2003 and beyond in 2003.

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