Thread: IBM to buy AMD?
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Old 24th January, 2008, 12:52 PM
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dsio dsio is offline
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I really think that IBM stand to gain alot from this.

IBM is deeply invested in the high end of the market, mainframes, blade servers, HPC and supercomputers. Virtualization technology as it becomes more common is going to be very beneficial for IBM in that the trend towards consolidating low end servers will play to their strengths.

Currently IBM is pushing Power6 chips, with Power7 on the horizon, now Power6/7 chips don't directly compete with x86 chips due to the fact that they have very different strengths and weaknesses, however its recently been shown that the optimum configuration for high end computing platforms isn't PowerPC, or x86, but rather a mixture of the two.

IBM's Roadrunner supercomputer is exactly this, it uses 16,000 Opteron cores, and 16,000 Cell processors. The two chips excel in very different areas, but comliment eachother when combined.

Here's where it gets interesting:

IBM Power 7 to be Opteron socket compatible - The INQUIRER

IBM's Power7 chip going into Opteron motherboards | The Register

For a long time now, there have been hints of a common socket and platform for Power7 and Opteron chips in the future.

If IBM bought AMD, they would be buying that platform, and as a bonus, they would get a chipset maker (ATI) as a freebie. If they could get a common platform for AMD x86 and IBM Power7 chips, you could potentially have a mixed platform, and while this doesn't help someone running Vista, the fact is IBM couldn't give a rat's ass about Microsoft. I can see alot of value in certain markets for a mixed architecture workstation as well.
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