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Power PC Not dead after all.
Waltish 
11/7/08 4:10:38 AM
Hero
Titan


http://www.linux.com/feature/141098

New Linux-powered PowerStation dispels rumors Power Architecture's death
By Jack M. Germain on July 09, 2008 (4:00:00 PM)



Terra Soft, the developer of Yellow Dog Linux on the PowerStation platform, is pushing the limits of design and performance with the planned mid-July release of a quad core PowerPC deskside tower that returns the Power Architecture to both the workstation and server markets at a competitive price.

Power Architecture has been a mainstay of the high-performance computing, personal game, automotive, telecommunications, and signal and image processing industries for the last decade. The new PowerStation, Terra Soft's first new hardware release in three years, is a consumer product with a primary focus on Power Architecture code development. As the Power Architecture is employed primarily in the embedded space, embedded system developers will find it useful to build Power code on a Power workstation in order to enable seamless code migration, according to Kai Staats, CEO of Terra Soft. The company intends to deliver the PowerStation primarily as a development workstation to Power Architecture OEM/ODMs and cluster owners, Staats says.

As a development workstation for embedded systems, the PowerStation aims to provide seamless code migration from host to target, reducing development cost and time to market. Developers can compile, test, and debug their code on the PowerStation and then quickly deploy finished applications on the embedded platform. "The process involves a simple copy or move command without time-consuming and often error-prone cross-compilation (building code for Power from an x86 box)," Staats says.
What it is

The YDL PowerStation targets a wide range of consumer and business needs. For instance, it can replace the now aging Apple PowerMac G5 product family. Terra Soft says all Linux code optimized for the former G4 and G5 systems will readily migrate to the PowerStation.

The PowerStation, running Yellow Dog Linux, can play host to system boards built upon IBM, Freescale, and AMCC Power Architecture chips, which share a common, compatible heritage to which the PowerStation's 970 cores belong and support. These chips are also a staple for Cell development. The PowerStation can be used to prepare and optimize code for Cell systems or perform as a head node for a Sony PS3 or high-performance IBM QS22 cluster.

The YDL PowerStation improves upon previous offerings with an embrace of open standards and ready support by Linux, according to Owen Stampflee, director of engineering for Terra Soft.

"By design the PowerStation is a very open box, from the firmware to the OS to the graphics card support. While we ship the PowerStation with YDL pre-installed, we welcome involvement of the greater Linux community, offering our support of all developers who are involved," Stamflee says.

The YDL PowerStation comes pre-installed with Yellow Dog Linux v6.0. The default application set includes the Firefox Web browser, Thunderbird email client, Pidgin IM/IRC client, Ekiga voice over IP phone application, OpenOffice.org, gThumb, the GIMP, and the RhythmBox Music Player. The distribution also includes games, multimedia applications, the Fluendo codec installer with MP3 installed by default, and a suite of personal accessories. Development tools include the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), GNU Debugger (Gdb), Eclipse, Subversion, and a large collection of libraries and toolkits, including the IBM Cell SDK.
Far from dead

While Apple dropped support for the Power Architecture in 2005, the hardware has not disappeared. Power Architecture microprocessors are used in systems for terrain mapping, signals intelligence, image exploitation, smart weapons, radar, and satellite communications. It also is heavily deployed in aircraft engine control, fuel control, navigation and GPS positioning, instrumentation, and diagnostics.

To dispel the misbelief that the PowerPC is no longer competitive, Staats notes that Apple represented less than 5% of IBM's Power Architecture chip sales. Apple was at the time the most well-marketed of the Power-based consumer products. "When they left, they took that marketing with them, but not the volume of chips sales," he says.

Staats says the top three game boxes all run Power: XBox360, Wii, PS3. "This represents tens of millions of chips sales per year." Additionally, half of all new automobiles have at least one Power chip on-board, he says, and every long distance phone call in the world moves across at least one Power chip.
Competitive edge?

Though RISC hardware may be more costly, it can hold its own against off-the-shelf Intel and AMD hardware, Staats insists. "You will find that the price/performance of this quad-core 2.5GHz box at $1,800 is well positioned against similar priced Intel systems."

"The game in this space is relative cost. What Terra Soft offers is a solution that appears similar to IBM's but at a lower overall initial price," Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst for the Enderle Group, told Linux.com.

In addition, while IBM typically does incredibly well at an enterprise level, the ability for a large company like IBM to address the needs of a much smaller firm is relatively poor, he says.

"So Terra Soft offers a lower cost and likely better smaller business unit-focused solution while still embracing the IBM Power platform. They don't have to be less than an Intel or AMD solution. They just have to come in under a similar IBM solution. It is a niche offering, but small companies often can do just fine in niche markets," Enderle says.
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mmmmmm I will be having a closer look at this Power Boxx.

But really its probably too powerful for what I want to do {:)

http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/products/powerstation/



{:)


Edited by Waltish: 13/7/2008 11:14:30 PM

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replace monopoly with choice

noobmelater 
11/7/08 10:38:08 AM
Banned

Dude PPC has and will continue to be used in high end work stations and servers. Just because Apple chose a chip that failed to meet expectations doesn't mean the whole architecture is dead.

I hate to sound like I'm coming down on you but you know Apple was only one small market for PPC chips IBM and the likes use them and continue to use them.

The other side of it all is that these chips aren't exactly the kind of chips that can run OS X even if Apple did continue to develop their PPC code.

The truth be told PPC isn't the perfect architecture for a desktop PC

I don't wanna make it sound like your some kinda PPC fanboi but it's hard not to with the way you posted this thread

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Waltish 
11/7/08 2:28:45 PM
Hero
Titan


Quote by noobmelater
Dude PPC has and will continue to be used in high end work stations and servers. Just because Apple chose a chip that failed to meet expectations doesn't mean the whole architecture is dead.

I hate to sound like I'm coming down on you but you know Apple was only one small market for PPC chips IBM and the likes use them and continue to use them.

The other side of it all is that these chips aren't exactly the kind of chips that can run OS X even if Apple did continue to develop their PPC code.

The truth be told PPC isn't the perfect architecture for a desktop PC

I don't wanna make it sound like your some kinda PPC fanboi but it's hard not to with the way you posted this thread



What you said was pretty much in the article ,all except you mistaken notion the PPC isn't for the desktop.

If posting this news article makes me some kind of PPC fanboi... what does your pushy insistence (in the link below) that I use Intel make you.

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2&c=32&t=344

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replace monopoly with choice

noobmelater 
11/7/08 4:52:40 PM
Banned

My pushy insistence?

It was for the benefit of yourself and so that you could run the latest version of OS X.

Furthermore my inference that these chips aren't really for desktops also comes from the fact that these CPU's have a very limited amount of options with regards to what OS you can use them on, and yes whilst they may be similar enough to the PPC chips used in Macs they are generally not similar enough to boot OS X. It leaves you with your only real choice of running Linux on your desktop, and whilst I advocate Linux as a fellow Linux user it's not exactly the ideal desktop solution hence these aren't really the types of CPU's I would recommend running in a desktop PC


Edited by noobmelater: 11/7/2008 5:01:00 PM

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Waltish 
11/7/08 11:23:37 PM
Hero
Titan


Quote by noobmelater
My pushy insistence?

It was for the benefit of yourself and so that you could run the latest version of OS X.

Furthermore my inference that these chips aren't really for desktops also comes from the fact that these CPU's have a very limited amount of options with regards to what OS you can use them on, and yes whilst they may be similar enough to the PPC chips used in Macs they are generally not similar enough to boot OS X. It leaves you with your only real choice of running Linux on your desktop, and whilst I advocate Linux as a fellow Linux user it's not exactly the ideal desktop solution hence these aren't really the types of CPU's I would recommend running in a desktop PC


Edited by noobmelater: 11/7/2008 5:01:00 PM



But I said quite plainly that I wanted to use YDL 6.0 and YDL wont run on an Intel CPU.
So what help was it to tell me to use Intel.

The 20" 2.1ghz iMAC G5 I want to dual boot with OSX an AND YDL 6.0 is a plenty grunty enough machine.

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replace monopoly with choice

neoprint 
15/7/08 1:37:57 AM
Guru

Power PC wasn't dead in teh first place, PS3/X360/Wii all use PPC chips afaik. Also cars, some dvd players/cable boxes and other stuff uses them too.


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P4 1.8a@2.7 | Abit IC7-G | 2gb DDR400 | 2x 80GB Seagate 2x 120GB Seagate | MSI Radeon X800PRO haxxed to XTPE

Linux_Inside V2 
15/7/08 9:06:50 PM
Immortal

Quote by neoprint
Power PC wasn't dead in teh first place, PS3/X360/Wii all use PPC chips afaik. Also cars, some dvd players/cable boxes and other stuff uses them too.





I think they mean dead in the world that doesn't include Appliances and Toys.
After all, the Power Line is all about servers.

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wilsontc 
29/7/08 8:38:27 PM
Guru

Quote by Linux_Inside V2
Quote by neoprint
Power PC wasn't dead in teh first place, PS3/X360/Wii all use PPC chips afaik. Also cars, some dvd players/cable boxes and other stuff uses them too.





I think they mean dead in the world that doesn't include Appliances and Toys.
After all, the Power Line is all about servers.



"x86 everywhere". Is that an AMD or an Intel quote? I think that's what Intel said when it brought out the Atom.

Regardless, Linux PPC is always going to play second fiddle to Linux x86. Why use a more expensive second class machine? That was the point we were trying to raise in the other thread Waltish, but you do seem to be obsessed with PPC. You're not doing any development; we just can't understand why.

But meh, it's your choice I guess.

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Quote by Kothos
More importantly, do any of you girls like arse hair??



SquallStrife 
29/7/08 10:01:32 PM
Titan

In case noobmelater still reads this forum:

The reasons Apple went x86 were heat and availability/cost.

G5s were too hot for laptops (the last PowerBooks were still G4 based), and the popularity of Macs was steadily outgrowing IBM's capacity to produce desktop-grade chips at that price point.

(Obviously since then, IBM has found success in consoles, where low-clock/high-bandwith chips are needed.)

Performance wasn't really one of the big points.

PPC forever!

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Q6600 @ 3.6GHz | 8800GTS | XP x64 | Vista HP x64 | OSX 10.5.4 <- Back and better than ever!

Vanne 
30/7/08 3:08:34 PM
Champion

i loved my g4 1.2ghz lappy :) oh and i love my G4 1.5ghz mini too :)
my GF loves her G5 too (though hopefully not more than me :)

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DFi Lanparty Ultra D-Hardmod to SLi
AMD X2 4400+ Holy Toledo Batman
TeamXtreem Cronus 3-3-2-8 DDR500
2xAsus 7900GTX (GA SLi bridge)
Enermax Liberty 620W SLi
2xApple 20 Inch LCD's
Ageia PhysX

Linux_Inside V2 
30/7/08 9:48:28 PM
Immortal

I <3 my PPC Macs

One of them is my web server :D

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B82R3S 
1/8/08 5:55:33 PM
Titan

how is ppc > x86 (im not contesting it just curious)

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E4400 @ 3.1ghz (388x8 w 1.39v) | P35-DS3 F6| 2 GB DDR 800 | X1950pro 512mb | 250gb | DVR 212
Debian Etch | AM2 X2 3800+ | 1GB DDR2 667 | 1.5TB Raid5 (4x500gb) | 1TB of corrupted Data =S

zebra 
1/8/08 9:26:22 PM
SuperHero
Titan


Ya'll might want to read an upcoming issue of AtomicMPC to see what is happening in the enterprise Power architecture space. Might find it interesting...

B82R3S , in many regards, the old school/religious/those who understand raw die/alu architecture (me), often consider PPC to be a "superior" technology because it was superscalar in every definition of the term. It's cache controller design was more intelligent (for the time) and it's implementation of a 64bit word size was actually more efficient than that of it's competitors at the time. Other "queer" functionality of PPC arch were the endian-flipper registers. It could flip between little endian and big endian at the flop of a flag. Way out of x86 land, that. The other thing I can think of, off the top of my head, is that PPC was a native 64bit arch, with full raw 32bit compatibility...beating even the IA-64 to such a milestone.

It was an entirely different approach to chip design, with wonderful results to be had. Sure, it might have all ended for Apple at the G5 - but if you look into it a little deeper (next month's atomicmpc) you will learn about how the Power6 changed the planet...and just how special the architecture is. Moreover, you'll learn what Power6 has currently done to change the face of enterprise computing. Think 4.7GHz out of the factory and 32MB of on-die cache.

Personally? Yeah, the Quad G5 was a choice piece of arse, but for me - the Power6 and Power7 are actually something to care about.


Edited by zebra: 1/8/2008 9:42:41 PM

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Specs:

I don't own a computer.

Waltish 
1/8/08 11:53:29 PM
Hero
Titan


Yum Yum Zebra, I wait with baited breath for this issue to lob at my newsagent {:))

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replace monopoly with choice

Vanne 
2/8/08 9:57:06 AM
Champion

is Cell Power6?

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DFi Lanparty Ultra D-Hardmod to SLi
AMD X2 4400+ Holy Toledo Batman
TeamXtreem Cronus 3-3-2-8 DDR500
2xAsus 7900GTX (GA SLi bridge)
Enermax Liberty 620W SLi
2xApple 20 Inch LCD's
Ageia PhysX

zebra 
2/8/08 10:18:06 AM
SuperHero
Titan


Quote by Vanne
is Cell Power6?



No. It's PPE is a derivative of the Power architecture, but it is a very long distant relative of the Power6. Not really many similarities.

z

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Specs:

I don't own a computer.

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