IBM on Monday is launching its long-anticipated Power7 processor and
systems based on the chip.
The processor is a big step for IBM, integrating eight processing
cores four times the number of cores in the prior-generation Power6 in
one chip package, with each core capable of executing four
tasks called "threads" turning an individual chip into a virtual
32-core processor. As a yardstick, Intel’s high-end Xeon
processors systems that Power7 will compete with typically have two
threads per processing core and contain four cores.
Power7 fuses the flagship Power chip design with key technology from a
separate "Cell" processor the latter was part of IBM’s Roadrunner
supercomputer system at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.