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IBM Announces New Consortium, Modeled After Eclipse
IBM Announces New Consortium, Modeled After Eclipse

IBM has created an industry consortium to advance its Power microprocessor architecture. It is to be modeled on the organizational structure of Eclipse.org, which IBM setup in 2001.  The announcement of the Power.org consortium was made in Beijing.

This latest news coincides with a related item, on "Cell" microprocessor technology. IBM and Sony released a joint statement announcing they have created a workstation that uses Cell, Power-based processor. IBM is supporting Cell technology, which offers amazing processing abilities - capable of performing 16 teraflops of floating-point calculations per second - a processing range usually reserved for supercomputers.

IBM said the consortium is not to be confused with any of its business partner programs. "This is collaboration," said Mike McGinnis, IBM's program director for PowerPC licensing, "it's giving these partners a say in where the architecture is going."

Currently, 15 companies comprise Power.org. Member enterprises are leaders in software, consumer electronics, automotive and networking industries, and include Sony, Cadence Design Systems, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Novell and Red Hat. IBM will announce new members in a few weeks.

IBM is smoothing out the governance model. The company has said it will be modeled after another IBM creation - Eclipse.org. "The intent is clearly to have this become an independent entity," McGinnis said. "If you understand what Eclipse is, then you understand what we would like Power.org to be."

A bus interface specification built around memory processors using the Power core, will be one of the first projects. Advances in Power processing brought on through the consortium will likely benefit projects IBM and Sony are developing using Cell-based processors. High-definition televisions, computer simulations for use in movie modeling, and gaming consoles are among the technologies the two companies are working on.

Choosing Beijing to announce the creation of Power.org, analysts say, is an attempt to appeal to Asian manufactures, who will make up most of Power licensees. Richard Doherty, an analyst with Envisioneering Group, said, "It is no accident that this announcement was made in China and not in New York or Silicon Valley."

About Eclipse News Desk
Eclipse News Desk gathers and summarizes news and information from newspapers, magazines, Web sites, newsletters, and online communitities likely to be of interest to those who support the move toward a language-neutral, vendor-neutral, open-source platform for the development of integrated tools.

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