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Opening Up in New Ways: How the OpenPOWER Foundation is Taking Open to New Places

It’s no secret that open development is the key to rapid and continuous technology innovation. Openly sharing knowledge, skills and technical building blocks is something that we in the Linux community have long been promoting and have recognized as a successful model for breeding technology breakthroughs. Much of The Linux Foundation’s and its peers' efforts to date have been centered on fostering openness at the software level, starting right at the source -- the operating system – and building up from there. Traditionally, the agenda has not included a great amount of attention on how to open up at the hardware level. Until now. 

A year ago, many of us in the Linux community took notice when IBM, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Tyan and Google announced their intentions to form the OpenPOWER Foundation, a group through which the IBM POWER processor architecture would be opened up for development.  Now, one year later, the group has officially formed and the notion of open hardware development that starts at the processor level has resonated with many.

According to OpenPOWER, they now have 53 members and seven working groups focused on enabling broad industry innovation across the full hardware and software stack.  Through the Foundation, member companies are free to use the POWER architecture for custom open servers and components for Linux based cloud data centers, or any processor application they choose. 

Fostering open collaboration at all levels – from the chip and on up through the entire hardware and software stacks – is what is needed to drive a new era of innovation. To this end, The Linux Foundation looks forward to partnering with the OpenPOWER Foundation in the near future on projects in which we have a shared vision. In particular, we will aim to work together in ways that can address some of today’s largest technology challenges – like better harnessing Big Data, addressing security concerns and energy efficiency – in a way that unlocks opportunity for all.

So, with that, let me officially welcome the OpenPOWER Foundation to the community.  We look forward to working together to drive open innovation in new ways and in new places.

You can hear more about OpenPOWER in this keyntoe from IBM at last week's LinuxCon and CloudOpen events.

 

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