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IBM POWER6 microarchitecture

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9 Author(s)
Le, H.Q. ; IBM Systems and Technology Group, 11400 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78758, USA ; Starke, W.J. ; Fields, J.S. ; O'Connell, F.P.
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This paper describes the implementation of the IBM POWER6™ microprocessor, a two-way simultaneous multithreaded (SMT) dual-core chip whose key features include binary compatibility with IBM POWER5™ microprocessor-based systems; increased functional capabilities, such as decimal floating-point and vector multimedia extensions; significant reliability, availability, and serviceability enhancements; and robust scalability with up to 64 physical processors. Based on a new industry-leading high-frequency core architecture with enhanced SMT and driven by a high-throughput symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) cache and memory subsystem, the POWER6 chip achieves a significant performance boost compared with its predecessor, the POWER5 chip. Key extensions to the coherence protocol enable POWER6 microprocessor-based systems to achieve better SMP scalability while enabling reductions in system packaging complexity and cost.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 6 )