Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Parting thoughts on Power.org

A few random observations today coming back to the Valley from the Power.org conference in Austin:

The Power.org group is ramping up an effort to set common standards for debug across Power chips and tools. IBM exec Chris Ng who heads the effort is reaching out to industry for feedback. Right now his group is discussing adopting the Aurora interconnect from Xilinx.

IBM's Hollis Blanchard is starting a separate effort in Power.org to define virtualization for Power, especially in the embedded world. Among its needs are virtual I/O support in chip sets, the kind of thing the PCI SIG is developing for x86 computing.

To make this all run right we will need not only new hooks in the processors and memory management units but in the embedded OSes, too. So far the RTOS crowd is keeping mum on any plans to support virtualization, Blanchard reports.

The group has at least half a dozen other initiatives in the works, many of them led by resourceful IBM middle managers. Whether the efforts will drive the Power community forward remains to be seen, but there is clearly no lack of effort.

Finally, a quick welcome back to Tracy Richardson. The former chief executive of StarGen is now heading up marketing at interconnect specialist Tundra Semi. Tundra is cooking up a concept it calls intelligent I/O, but it's still in stealth mode, he told me at the event.

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