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February 13, 2014

Samsung Joins IBM's OpenPower Foundation

IBM has snagged another major player in the tech industry as part of its OpenPower Foundation. The latest member of the consortium is none other than Samsung Electronics, which isn’t all that surprising considering Google is also a member. Other members include Tyan, Mellanox and Nvidia.

In conjunction with this news, IBM has also announced new leadership positions within the OpenPower Foundation. Gordan MacKean, the engineering director of Google’s platforms division, is now chairman of the group, joining IBM fellow Bradley McCredie as president, and Nvidia’s senior director of marketing, Michael Diamond, as vice president. Meanwhile, IBM distinguished engineer Jeff Brown is chairman of the Technical Steering Committee.

Founded back in August, the OpenPower Foundation aims to build advanced server, networking, storage and acceleration technology based on IBM’s Power hardware and software. The ultimate goal is to introduce more choice, control and flexibility to developers of next generation, hyperscale and cloud data centers. This marks the first time that Power products have ever been available for open development.

Shortly after announcing the OpenPower Foundation, IBM invested $1 billion in Linux and open source technology for its Power Systems servers, also opening a Power Systems Linux Center in Montpellier, France.

IBM and its partners aren’t the only ones pushing to end Intel’s server dominance. AMD recently unveiled its first ARM-based chip for servers in the hopes of attracting customers that want more scalable, low-cost options as compared to x86-based server offerings.

As for Samsung’s joining of the OpenPower Foundation, it’s too soon to say what role the company will play in the group. That said, the company has experience creating chips based on both x86 and ARM architecture — including its own line of mobile Exynos processors — so it’s likely the electronics giant will be useful in a number of ways.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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