IDC: OpenPOWER China Summit Takes Place, Showcases Homemade POWER Chips and Servers
18 Jun 2015
Beijing, June 18, 2015 - The OpenPOWER China Summit opened recently in Beijing has witnessed the members of the OpenPOWER Foundation announcing and showcasing their major innovative achievements such as POWER server chips, servers and related development suites. This is the first achievement exhibition after the opening up of POWER chips, marking an important move of IBM to expand the POWER ecosystem towards the lower-end market. The event were attended by officials from government departments including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs among others.
For a long time, the IBM Power Systems based on POWER chips has always been a high-reliability server platform for critical applications. Like other Unix server providers, however, it is facing challenges from the rapid expansion of the x86 server market and the dramatic contraction of the Unix server market. In this context, it is imperative for IBM to launch a series of new products to respond to the constantly expanding x86 market. By opening up the POWER architecture and authorizing partners to develop POWER architecture-based products, IBM has found an effective way to drive the development and expansion of the POWER-related product ecosystem.
Because of the Chinese government’s new policy on independence and controllability of IT products, OpenPOWER has been more enthusiastically received by government departments, research institutes and companies in China than in overseas markets. At the summit, several Chinese members of the OpenPOWER Foundation released their POWER-based products. The most noteworthy among them was Suzhou PowerCore Technology Company that announced the launch of its CP1 chip product, a homemade server CPU designed by the company based on the OpenPOWER architecture. The product marks China’s beginning to have its own server-level CPU products, meaning the reaching of the chip level in independence and controllability, which will have a far-reaching impact on China’s IT market. Meanwhile, the Wuxi-based Zoom Netcom Inc. released CP1-based RedPOWER server products.
With the contraction of the POWER-based server market in recent years, the domestic server manufacturers have achieved a strong business growth. Supporting domestic server manufacturers to manufacture POWER-based server products represents IBM’s counterattack on the IA servers. If homemade POWER servers pick up momentum by adapting to the trend of independence and controllability, they will bring more platform software and appliance software developers to POWER and help form a virtuous ecosystem and expand IBM’s influence.
Source: IDC “China Enterprise Server Market Tracker, 2014Q4”
Driven by China’s government policy, the development of OpenPOWER has been faster in China than in other regions. Although Chinese members of the OpenPOWER Foundation are smaller than their counterparts in other regions, the speed of their product development has been astonishing. While in the short term the Chinese members will remain focused on the domestic market, the experience and the problems they encountered in their rapid development will be fed back to the OpenPOWER open-source project through open-source communities. On the other hand, the development of OpenPOWER in the overseas markets will also draw upon the experience and technologies in China. It could be expected that one day Chinese-made OpenPOWER products eventually spread around the world.
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