IBM is working on the next two generations of its POWER based servers and in fact, the POWER6 processor has already taped out and the first samples are already working. This chip is also referred to as eCLipz, an acronym that stands for “enhanced Core logic for iSeries, pSeries and z Series”.
IBM has been rather quiet about the eCLipz project and future POWER and mainframe (zSeries) processors, which has lead to rampant speculation. Naturally most of these theories are extremely dubious, such as a system using coherent interconnects between zArch and POWER processors. However, some of the rumors probably have a micro-kernel of truth to them. Hopefully this article will bring together some of truth out there and avoid the fictitious, fantastical and unlikely. In particular, this article will focus on facts and informed speculation about the nature of the eCLipz project, the upcoming POWER6 MPU and its performance characteristics.