Power Architecture

Power Architecture

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Power Architecture

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Power Architecture is a broad term to describe similar RISC instruction sets for microprocessors developed and manufactured by such companies as IBM, Freescale, AMCC, Tundra and P.A. Semi. The governing body is Power.org, comprising over 40 companies and organizations.

The term "Power Architecture" should not be confused with IBM's different generations of "POWER architectures" where the former is a broad term including all products based on POWER, PowerPC and Cell architectures. Power Architecture is a family name describing processor architecture, software, toolchain, community and end-user appliances and not a strict term describing specific products or technologies.


There can be misunderstanding of the meaning of the terms, POWER, PowerPC and Power Architecture. Here is a glossary with brief descriptions of each term, and links to articles with details.


Power Architecture began its life at IBM in the late 1980s when the company wanted a high-performance RISC architecture for their mid-range workstations and servers. The result was the "POWER architecture." Its first implementation was featured in the RS/6000 computers introduced in 1990. This was the 10-chip RIOS-1 processor, later called POWER1. The RISC Single Chip (RSC) processor was developed from RIOS-1.

In 1992, Apple, IBM and Motorola formed the AIM alliance to develop a mass market version of the POWER processor. The result of this was the "PowerPC......
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