IBM launches "green" chip
May 22, 2007

IBM is touting the "green" credentials of its newest and most powerful microprocessor, the "Power6."

The tech firm says that the chip has a record speed of 4.7, offering double the speed of previous generation 'Power5' processors, but uses roughly the same power consumption, effectively halving performance per unit of energy.

IBM joins a pack of other tech companies -- including Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems, and AMD -- emphasizing the energy efficiency of their products. The trend comes as a study by research firm IDC finds that enterprise consumers are increasingly concerned about the rising cost of power. Nationwide, centers consume 45 billion kilowatts of energy per year resulting in total utility bills amounting to $2.7 billion, reports Jonathan Koomey, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Globally, data centers used $7.2 billion in electricity in 2005.

IBM's new POWER6 chip is a 64 bit, dual-core processor with 790 million transistors running at up to 4.7 GHz and eight megabytes of on chip Level 2 cache. The company today launched its first new POWER6 server, the IBM System p 570, which has set 25 performance benchmark records across a broad range of business and technical applications.

Last week IBM announced it will spend $1 billion per year to increase energy efficiency in information technology under a program called "Project Big Green." The plan includes new products and services to reduce corporate data center energy consumption.

IBM says that the POWER6 chip has additional techniques to conserve power and reduce heat, including processor clocks that can be dynamically turned off when there is no useful work to be done and turned back on when there are instructions to be executed.

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IBM launches "green" chip.