Template talk:Power Architecture

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POWER is not Historical!![edit]

Now, I've moved POWER into Current because POWER7 is in manufacture stage and POWER8 is announced. ==Applist (talk) 13:10, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

POWER is historical as an Instruction Set Architecture, as is PowerPC now days. POWER is deprecated and PowerPC is rolled up into Power Architecture. What's left is just marketing trademarks for IBM's server oriented products, that are all nothing more than high performance Power Architecture processors that just happens to be called POWERn. The POWER ISA is dead and deprecated since the introduction of POWER3 in 1998, everything since then was only PowerPC and later in 2006 only Power Architecture. -- Henriok (talk) 14:12, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
No!!! do you know POWER8 is going to be announced????Applist (talk) 23:24, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
"POWER", in the context of the family of instruction set architectures, the first of which was originally developed by IBM for the RS/6000, and the processors that implement various of those instruction set architectures, is used in two ways:
  • as the name for the first of those instruction set architectures, as implemented by the multi-chip processor in the original IBM RS/6000's and the RISC Single Chip single-chip processor;
  • as a prefix for names of processors from IBM that implement various of those architectures.
IBM called the instruction set it implemented POWER; see, for example, the abstract of The IBM RISC System/6000 processor: Hardware overview, which says "The RISC System/6000® family is based on the new IBM POWER (Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC) architecture; the hardware implementation takes advantage of this powerful RISC architecture and employs sophisticated design techniques to achieve a short cycle time and a low cycles-per-instruction (CPI) ratio."
I don't know how IBM originally referred to the first processor in that family. I've heard it called "RIOS"; the Wikipedia page for it calls it POWER1.
The POWER instruction set architecture is historical. IBM added a few instructions to it in POWER2, but they also teamed up with Apple and Motorola to create the PowerPC instruction set architecture, which removed some instructions from POWER and added a number of instructions. The POWER3 processor implemented the full PowerPC instruction set, along with the instructions in the POWER2 version of the POWER instruction set that were not in PowerPC. Currently, the instruction set architecture (which has various subsets for various purposes) is called the Power Architecture.
Perhaps the template needs to make a distinction between instruction sets, processors, and other items. The current version of the "Power Architecture" template, as of 2013-03-19 00:25:12 UTC, has:
  • "Historical", listing several older processors and AIM alliance;
  • "Current", listing two instruction set architectures ((IBM) POWER and PowerPC), and several processors and lines of processors;
  • "Future", listing two processors;
  • "Related Links", listing a bunch of stuff connected with the Power Architecture in various different ways.
I don't know whether "PowerPC" is "current". Power.org is, as far as I know, not issuing any "PowerPC Instruction Set Architecture" documents; instead, they are issuing "Power Instruction Set Architecture" documents. The "Power ISA" documents continue the series of documents containing the "PowerPC ISA" documents; the name changed as of the 2.03 version of the architecture. I don't see anything to indicate that Freescale Semiconductor sells any processors that they call "PowerPC" processors; they seem to have "PowerQUICC" and "QorIQ" processors and "Power Architecture Host Processors".
"POWER", in the sense of the instruction set architecture, is definitely not "current"; the "current" instruction set architecture is what's in the "Power ISA" documents, so I guess it's called the "Power ISA". There are current and future POWERn processors, but those implement the Power ISA (along with various documented and undocumented extensions). Guy Harris (talk) 00:41, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
The IBM POWER article is about the ISA, and reading it makes it clear that the POWER ISA died with the POWER2 processor, i.e. Historical. The current POWERn processors are in the Current section where it should be. Stuff that's absolutely Current but is undisputedly put in the Related links section are Blue Gene, RISC, Power.org, AltiVec. Shouldn't they be put in the Current section too, if POWER and PowerPC are put there? No, I suggest that the Historical/Current/Future-sections are for devices and Related is populated with related stuff, whether they are current or not. -- Henriok (talk) 10:30, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
"The IBM POWER article is about the ISA" - actually, while the first paragraph says "POWER is a reduced instruction set computer (RISC) instruction set architecture (ISA) developed by IBM.", the second paragraph says "POWER is also the name of a series of microprocessors that implement the POWER ISA." - which needs to be fixed as it directly contradicts the rest of the paragraph, which says that POWER3 and later don't implement the POWER/POWER2 instructions removed in PowerPC - and the "History" section has items for all the POWERn processors.
"I suggest that the Historical/Current/Future-sections are for devices" - then should IBM POWER and PowerPC be linked in any of those sections? There's no device called "PowerPC", and I'm not sure there was a device called "POWER", without a number after it. (For that matter, the AIM alliance wasn't a device, so does it belong in the "Historical" section?)
I might be tempted to restrict those sections to contain only devices - so that neither IBM POWER nor PowerPC or AIM alliance would appear there - and add a separate section for "predecessors" or "progenitors" or something such as that and put IBM POWER, in the sense of the POWER ISA, and PowerPC, in the sense of the PowerPC ISA, in there. I'd put the AIM alliance in the "Related Links" section.
This also may argue that the POWERn processors should be moved out of the IBM POWER page, if that page is about the POWER ISA, as POWER3 and later implement an ISA that's not restricted to what's in the POWER/POWER2 ISA, and, if the rest of the second paragraph in IBM POWER is true, don't even implement all the instructions in the POWER/POWER2 ISA. Guy Harris (talk) 19:11, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Guy Harris suggestions. Let's fork the IBM POWER article into IBM POWER (Instruction Set Architecture) and IBM POWER (microprocessors), and lets make the changes to this template that he suggested. -- Henriok (talk) 09:03, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Related links[edit]

There's a ton of stuff that's related to Power Architecture, and most of them is gathered on the Category:Power Architecture page. Wouldn't it be better to just link to that page rather than to crowd the template with links every related article? The category is listing over 90 entries so far. However, there are related links that's not covered by the Category, like RISC. -- Henriok 09:44, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I removed most of the related links, and added a link called more... to Category:Power Architecture  :-) --Unixguy 18:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


Has anyone noticed that the background color for the "Related Links" heading makes the text difficult to read? It should be changed. Rilak (talk) 07:09, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Changed the color of the text instead. -- Henriok (talk) 11:52, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


This navbox in POWER3 makes the article look awful. The text is squeezed between the photograph and the navbox extends down into the section below. Is there are reason why the navbox bust be vertical and placed at the top of the article instead of horizontal at the end of an article? Rilak (talk) 13:33, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

POWER5 historical?[edit]

I'm inclined to move POWER5 to the historical section. It's probably still used by IBM in some storage systems but hey.. There are probably some PowerPC 603 still being made. The technology and instruction set is historical by now. There is no new implementations not any new development using POWER5. -- Henriok (talk) 22:43, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

How do we define "historical"? The 603 is still in production, but it is not recommended for new designs. Essentially, it is no longer actively marketed, it is only available for existing customers, and only so they have time to find alternatives. Does the POWER5 fit? It is not a chip that is available on the merchant market. If I am not mistaken, Bull and Hitachi use the POWER5 in their current products. I think it is more appropriate to say the POWER5 is historical when all products using it are discontinued. Rilak (talk) 04:26, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. I wasn't aware that Bull and Hitachi still used POWER5. -- Henriok (talk) 11:17, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Suggested redesign as of April 2014[edit]

User CloudComputation suggested a significant redesign of the infobox, but I also like changes motivated. If one were to provide a compelling argument for changing the layout I'd like to hear and see them beforehand, so we don't end up in an edit war. I'm certainly not against changing it, I'm just against changing the design to something worse and if I'm not immediately convinced that a change is for the better, an argument might persuade me, so let's discuss it. Previously we've gone from a colourful layout, in landscape orientation with the Power Arch logo, to what we have today, and that wen't smoothly with well grounded arguments.

These are my reasons for providing a very clear segmentation in a historical/current/future fashion:

  1. There's been a complicated shift in marketing and instruction set terminologies (Is POWER POWER? When is POWER PowerPC? What is Power Arch?) that makes sense if you look at it from a historical point of view.
  2. Many products are named according to a convention regarding generations (POWER1-8, 601/603/604, RS64-I/I/III/IV, 440/50/60/70, G1/2/3/4/5, etc). Generations are grounded in time, so a segmentation from a historical point of view makes sense.
  3. As an encyclopaedia covering a living and evolving topic providing historical context is very useful. What is current knowledge, what happened in the past, how did things evolve, what can we expect of the future?
  4. If one thinks a time based structure is nice, one should segment it in a order dictated by time, not just label things based on time and then order them randomly.
  5. It's easy to get an time based overview of the state of Power Architecture by just glancing at the table.

I don't have an opinion of how the links inside the four topics (historical/current/future/related) should be ordered. As it stands now, there's really not a very obvious and consistent ordering so I'm very open for suggestions here. CloudComputation's proposition removed the segmentation and essentially eradicated the usefulness of looking and the topic from a historical point of view. He added a footnote explaining the italics, but that didn't provide for any clarity looking at the table at a glance, and a historical view is best served. If one needs a standing explanation of a design ornament then that design choice might not be the best.

My suggestion to CloudComputation's is to provide reasons why a change is necessary. And why not fork the template to a sandbox so we can take a look at his suggestion before implementing it?-- Henriok (talk) 12:04, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Henriok's suggestion to fork the template into a sandbox. This way the change(s) could be agreed on by all the major contributors before updating the template itself. I also think the Power Systems listed in the template might be appropriate for a timeline type chart. I'm not an expert in doing something like this, but it might look something like on chart on the Power Macintosh page. Unixguy (talk) 19:52, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Hello and this is CloudComputation. Henriok said, my redisigned version of Template order things ramdomly. Now I show you a new template. Henriok listed the Pros of Sorting by Time, and it's now my time to list the Pros of Sorting by Series.
  1. People can see who made it, e.g. Freescale made QorIQ and Qorivva.
  2. It can distinguish RAD6000 from Xenon.

And for Henriok's recommendation I will:

  1. Arranged the series by time, i.e. POWER(1990), PowerPC(1992), RS64, RAD(1997), Nintendo(2000), PowerPC e(2006), Qor(2008), Other
  2. In a series every products are arranged by time, e.g. PowerPC 600(1992), PowerPC 400(1994), PowerPC 750(1997), PowerPC G4(1999), PowerPC 970(2002).

Thank you! CloudComputation, sent at 2014/04/26 04:52 UTC, Unix time 1,398,156,720. — Preceding undated comment added 04:52, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

EDIT: I have now created the template at my sandbox. This is CloudComputation. 05:57, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Also to note Titan is cancelled not Historical. This is CloudComputation. 10:25, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

The redesignation is adapted[edit]

Since there are no more discussion after 3 months I think it's time to put it up. CloudComputation Talk freely
04:34, 14 August 2014 (UTC)