Power6 is a 64-bitdual-core processor from IBM. It has 790 million transistors, a level 2 cache of 8 megabytes( MB) and is one of the fastest clocked processors with its clock frequency of 4.7 GHz. The clock frequency has doubled compared to the predecessor Power5 processor and yet the power consumption for its operation and cooling has hardly changed.
The Power6 processor, introduced in spring 2007, has a high integration density and is built using 65nm technology and boasts some groundbreaking improvements. These include the way instructions are executed in the chip. IBM researchers have improved chip performance by making the pipeline stages faster, but maintaining their number. They also removed non-essential work and executed more operations in parallel. The development effort has helped cut execution times in half.
Furthermore, a chip design was used that operates at low voltages, allowing the processor to be used in servers such as the p570, blade Srverns with low power consumption but also in multiprocessing machines. The Power6 can adapt the processor performance to the computing demand via the dynamically adjustable clock rate, which also reduces the power dissipation accordingly. To increase performance, Power6 works with simultaneous multithreading( SMT).