HPCA 2010
Conference paper

Architecting for power management: The IBM® POWER7™ approach


The POWER7 processor is the newest member of the IBM POWER® family of server processors. With greater than 4X the peak performance and the same power budget as the previous generation POWER6®, POWER7 will deliver impressive energy-efficiency boosts. The improved peak energy-efficiency is accompanied by a wide array of new features in the processor and system designs that advance IBM's EnergyScale™ dynamic power management methodology. This paper provides an overview of these new features, which include better sensing, more advanced power controls, improved scalability for power management, and features to address the diverse needs of the full range of POWER servers from blades to supercomputers. We also highlight three challenges that need attention from a range of systems design and research teams: (i) power management in highly virtualized environments, (ii) power (in)efficiency of systems software and applications, and (iii) memory power costs, especially for servers with large memory footprints. ©2009 IEEE.