Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 29th Oct 2006 23:09 UTC
Morphos Genesi has announced its Open Server Workstation: "The Open Server Workstation is a six layer board with two 970MP processors, the CPC945 and Broadcom's HT-1000 and 2000 chips. Excepting those parts, the board and component cost is below USD 200. Here is the Business Plan [.pdf] we wrote for the board."
Thread beginning with comment 176796
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Leo43
Member since:
2006-06-26

I really dont know about this - both the PS/3 and the XBOX360 runs on the Cell processor, which beating heart is a PPC970.

We are talking about *desktop* computer. Here, everyone has dropped the PPC. Period. There is no Cell, no...
Yes, PPC is well present in the consoles world,... But a small company producing 5k per years can't benefit from this, because IBM produces & sells the cell in quantites of millions, not for the first hobbits that comes to his door... Even the server world is now using x86 mostly. It's already difficult do develop a new OS,... Why adding a new barrier by using a CPU which development isn't aimed anymore at the desktop ? The only thing you'll end up with is either having extremly expensive computers when compared with other desktop ones (ie: x86), and/or slow and un-adapted processors, because aimed at totaly different markets where the speed is not so important (ex: Efika).

And I'm not mentionning the fact that next x86 processors are *really* looking good... See the core2 duo,...

Reply Score: 3

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I hope that (non-Apple - obviously) PowerPC-based desktops pick up, because I don't know if AMD and Intel are competitive enough with each other to keep x86 innovating. (I'm not saying they will; I'm not even saying I think they will - I'm saying I hope they will). It may be the case that Apple's high profile relative to everyone else in the PPC space actually hindered non-Apple PowerPC in general, especially since they neither licensed out hardware or OSes (except for a comparatively short period), nor offered other operating systems.

Reply Parent Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

So you blame Apple for IBM's greed?

IBM could have made POWER based workstations and server more accessible, but they chose not to; just as IBM chose to tell companies to go f*ck themselves if they weren't able to purchase 10,000 units per month off their microprocessor subsidary.

IBM wanted to continue to sell over priced POWER workstaions; they could have quite easily pushed out a SUN Blade 150 configuration for around a grand, loaded with a PPC970 procesor, throw on a copy of AIX - 'enthusiast' package which didn't include any commercial support outside the usual service packs and updates; IBM chose not to do that.

Now IBM is coming back with another hypefeast that is openpower.org in a vein attempt to create a nice fuzzy SPARC like atmosphere, whilst forgetting that the number who are willing and/or able to pay $20,000 for a workstation is so limited, its laughable.

Its volume stupid, and you can't get volume by pricing a product at a level which only a niche can afford or able to justify the pricing - I'd love to own a PowerPC worstation loaded with AIX, but I sure as hell not going to pay an arm and a leg to get that experience nor is anyone else given the alternatives that exist from Intel and AMD.

Reply Parent Score: 2

flywheel Member since:
2005-12-28

Yes the good old x86 is very strongly represented in the cheap end of the server world, you're quite right.

Otherwise, Power (The mother of the PPC) and SPARC rules, when heavy processing are needed.

But apart from the AMD64 and AMD-V renewal of the x86 platform, nothing real new has happend since the introduction of the 386 ISA in 1985. It is old wine on new bottles, including the beloved Core and hell on earth when doing ASM programming.
The x86 ISA is very old and tired, after being constantly patched on since its birth in relation with a calculator.

Edited 2006-10-30 19:22

Reply Parent Score: 1

w-ber Member since:
2005-08-21

Saying there has been no change at all since 1985 is exaggarating...

The step from 386 to 486 wasn't big. There were a few new instructions, increase in clocking speed, and the ability to run the CPU at higher clocking speeds than the memory bus.

The step from 486 to Pentium wasn't that great either. More instructions (MMX) and a superscalar architecture (i.e. two pipelines).

Pentium Pro, however, was something else. P6 is internally a RISC processor, while previous ones are CISC. The microprogramming allows one to use CISC instructions, although they are executed as a series of RISC instructions internally. Out-of-order execution, longer pipelines.

Yes, it is fully backwards compatible, but this was also quite a feat if you look at the design.

From Pentium Pro to Pentium II was only a small step. Pentium II is essentially Pentium Pro with more (and in some models, slower) cache and a bit faster 16-bit execution mode.

And Pentium III wasn't that big either. Faster cache, SSE instructions.

However, if you look at Pentium 4, you'll see some big differences again. It's essentially a completely new CPU (using the (controversial) Netburst architecture) that just happens to be compatible with previous x86 CPUs.

Source: Wikipedia.

(Yes, I'm aware of other CPU manufacturers. However, the development in other camps is very similar to how it happened at Intel.)

Reply Parent Score: 1