IBM Power 7+ spotted, and it is a monster

Common Platform 2012: Mine is bigger than yours

IBM LogoEvery once in a while, a company will do something really unexpected, like IBM’s laying down the law in packaging last week. Yes, they showed off a chip, two actually, that does things no one else is even talking about doing.

If you look at the chips below, you will see, well, a really advanced packaging set-up. How advanced? Well, this is four CPU dies on an interposer, and not a small interposer at that. Each black spot is a 32nm multi-core die, and a very hot one too? How hot? Well, the chips below are the first Power 7+ parts spotted in the wild, so think really stinking hot.

IBM Power 7 Plus

Power 7+ package minus lid

To be specific, the two on the left are four P7+ dies on an interposer, and that is mounted to a ceramic package far left, organic to the right of that. On the right, there is an unnamed stacked die chip with and without lid. This means IBM can stack die directly, do a PoP on both ceramic and organic, and most importantly do it on a higher power part than anyone else will ever need. We won’t mention reliability, if there was any question about that, IBM wouldn’t put it on Power chips, those customers don’t cherish their downtime.  It’s one of the few platforms deemed too reliable for Windows.

OK, so IBM is laying out the law on advanced packaging, and no one else has shown this type of tech, not to mention anything on this scale. Could it get any better? Sure it can. What if I told you that the interposer wasn’t a passive part, but an active one with lots of embedded RAM. Need a few, oh, lets say tens of MB cache with a silly wide interface? See above. Also see your local IBM rep because no one else can do this.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate