Last summer, IBM announced the formation of the consortium, following its decision to license the Power architecture. The OpenPower Foundation, the actual entity behind the consortium, opened up the Power architecture technology, including specs, firmware and software under a license. Firmware is offered as open source. Originally, OpenPower was the brand of a range of System p servers from IBM that utilized the Power5 CPU. Samsung’s products currently utilize both x86 and ARM-based processors.
The intention of the consortium is to develop advanced servers, networking, storage and GPU-acceleration technology for new products. The four priority technical areas for development are system software, application software, open server development platform and hardware architecture. Along with its announcement of Samsung’s membership, the organization said that Gordon MacKean, Google’s engineering director of the platforms group, will now become chairman of the group. Nvidia has said it will use its graphics processors on Power-based hardware, and Tyan will be releasing a Power-based server, the first one outside IBM.