Taiwan-based Tyan has revealed specifications of the first non-IBM server to be equipped with Power8 CPUs, announced as part of the OpenPower initiative.

OpenPower was established by IBM last year as collaboration between technology vendors, meant to promote its Power architecture and make it a viable option for hyperscale data centers.

The first generation of Tyan’s commercial OpenPower hardware is codenamed ‘Habanero’. It will ship in tree configurations, all featuring Power8 silicon alongside various amounts of storage and RAM.

The company is already taking orders, and expects to start shipping sometime in August or September.

TYAN TN71-BP012 – Tyan


Power processors follow the Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) design strategy - an alternative to the dominant x86 instruction set backed by Intel. Chips designed by ARM also rely on RISC.

Until recently, IBM’s Power chips were only available as part of the company’s Power Systems range – but the OpenPower Foundation hopes to change this, by sharing intellectual property including processor specifications, reference designs and code.

The TYAN TN71-BP012 was announced at the first ever OpenPOWER Summit in San Jose, California in March.

The 2U server will be available in three configurations. The first (BSP012T71V14HR-4T-3) includes an eight-core Power8 Turismo CPU clocked at 3.325 GHz, 128GB of RAM and 8TB of HDD storage, at the modest price of $8,205.

The second (BSP012T71V14HR-4T-4) ships with a ten-core chip at 2.926 GHz, 256GB of RAM and 8TB of storage, priced at $10,750.

The third (BSP012T71V14HR-4T-5) and most expensive model – at $13,850 - adds another 256GB of RAM and replaces the hard drives with 2TB worth of SSDs from Micron.

All three feature 10Gb Ethernet cards from Qlogic, and come with a three-year limited warranty. Each server can potentially support up to 1024GB of DDR3 RAM.

Tyan says use cases for Habanero include analytics and High-Performance Computing (HPC). For customers who want to try the hardware before they buy, the new servers will be available from IBM, through the SoftLayer public cloud.

Tyan also offers a cheap customer reference system - GN70-BP010, codenamed ‘Palmetto’ and introduced in 2014. This 2U server includes a basic Power8 chip, space for four hard drives and four sticks of RAM for just $2,850.

Earlier this week, IBM launched a free, cloud-based research and development service for OpenPower enthusiasts.