Google's POWER server motherboard

Google Shows off POWER Server Motherboard

Google has developed a motherboard using POWER8 server technology from IBM, and is showing it off at the IBM Impact 2014 conference in Las Vegas this week. The new motherboard is an outgrowth of Google’s participation in the OpenPOWER Foundation, a non-profit developing data center technology based on the POWER Architecture.

Google’s display of a POWER8 motherboard is notable because the company builds its own servers by the tens of thousands, and POWER could represent an alternative to chips from Intel, which is believed to provide the motherboards for Google’s servers. Gordon MacKean, senior director of hardware for Google and chairman of the OpenPOWER Foundation, shared an image of the motherboard on Google+ this week.

“We’re always looking to deliver the highest quality of service for our users, and so we built this server to port our software stack to POWER (which turned out to be easier than expected, thanks in part to the little-endian support in P8),” MacKean writes. “A real server platform is also critical for detailed performance measurements and continuous optimizations, and to integrate and test the ongoing advances that become available through OpenPOWER and the extended OpenPOWER community.”

Last week the Open POWER foundation announced that its members had developed its first “white box server,” comprising of a hardware reference design from Tyan and firmware and operating system developed by IBM, Google and Canonical.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Bus Campbell

    I find it difficult giving full credit to my overactive imagination, for the increased blips my wireless router imposes after having a new electric power meter installed. Surge devices cope with power surges, but; to often, little, if any notice is given to the grid-accomodized dips. This is all beyond me, but; I keep looking for an article to enlighten me on the possibility of: These new meters may favor, or economize the power grid, while creating dips in power that affect devices working on Milli amps. I'm sure many out there have circuits at hairline overload, just waiting for a dip in electrical power able to cause our low amp device to falter, and in turn drop connections on computers, stress lighting systems, and possibly create abnormal wear and tear on things like compressors in refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.,--