IBM plans include self-configuring chips

March 31, 2004 – IBM has outlined its plans for its new Power5 processor, including several new licensing agreements, and a glimpse of what may be the future of self-managing components.

IBM’s scheme calls for expanded licensing of its Power architecture, which will drive future versions of the company’s servers and storage systems (Sony already has signed up); support for an open community for design, development, and service; and expanded options for manufacturing by foundries.

Also, Bernard Meyerson, chief technologist for IBM’s systems and technology group, presented a look at processors that could physically reconfigure themselves to optimize performance or power utilization for specific applications — for example, chips that run currents to intentionally erode metals and tweak chip properties.

Such technology, part of a move toward developing self-healing, autonomous systems, would be available in the next decade, predicted Meyerson. “In the future, the chip you have may not be the chip you bought,” he said.


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