Samsung joins IBM Power tech consortium

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Samsung joins IBM Power tech consortium

Samsung Electronics has joined IBM and Google in the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open development alliance centering on IBM’s Power microprocessor architecture, IBM announced on Wednesday.

Nvidia of the U.S., Mellanox of Israel and Tyan of Taiwan are some other notable members of the alliance, which IBM launched in August for the joint development of hardware and software tailored to IBM’s microprocessor technology marketed under the brand name Power.

With the consortium, IBM is aiming to expand an ecosystem of the Power architecture, with which it is waging an uphill battle in the global server microprocessor market dominated by Intel’s x86.

Other member companies could benefit by applying advanced technologies they access through the alliance to the development of their own products, according to market observers.

There was no word from IBM as to what role Samsung would play in the alliance, but according to an official of Samsung Electronics, the company is interested in developing memory chips for servers. Engineers from Samsung’s memory-chip business unit will participate in the alliance, the official said.

“Samsung has aimed to expand its server memory chip business, so the alliance could create some opportunities for the company,” said the official.

The official said Samsung is also interested in developing cloud-data-based technologies, one of the other target areas for the alliance.

The alliance makes it easier for member companies to exchange technologies, but it is not as strong as cooperation under cross-licensing deals, the official said. Samsung signed cross-licensing agreement with Google and Cisco Systems in recent weeks.

Samsung has also worked with Intel for several years on another chip technology development alliance called the Common Platform.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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