The Power5 is IBM's latest Power PC-based processor. It features 276 million transistors per processor and is manufactured with IBM's 0.13-micron copper wiring and silicon-on-insulator technologies. The servers run IBM's Aix 5L Unix operating system, Red Hat and SuSE Linux.
IBM said the Power5 integrates not only multiple microprocessor cores in silicon, but elements of memory and task management that have long been outside the chip.
With these improvements, IBM said the server line will offer best-in-class performance.
According to figures from IBM, Power5-based systems offered two and a half times better price/performance than Hewlett-Packard's PA-Risc, when comparing the price/performance results from the Transaction Processing Performance Council's database benchmarks.
IBM achieved a result of $4.56 per tpmC on an IBM eServer p5-570 running DB2, compared to $11.66 per tpmC on an HP9000 Superdome running Oracle Database 10G Enterprise Edition using the TPC-C benchmark.
IBM also said the eight-way p5-570 achieved the best-in-class two-tier SAP SD Standard application benchmark result, and the 16-way p5-570 achieved the best-in-class two-tier SAP SD Standard Application benchmark results.
The p5 server family also includes IBM's micro-partitioning technologies, which IBM said enable each processor to be subdivided into as many as 10 virtual servers.
According to IBM, the micro-partitioning technology can be used to consolidate multiple independent workloads resulting in an easily managed virtual server farm.