IBM has shelved a top-secret chip project meant to give the company a massively multi-threaded part that could have served as a major disrupter in the Unix world, The Register has learned. According to information obtained by El Reg, IBM's processor boffins have been exploring something known as Q7. This processor was a …
Details on Sun's future processor....if Sun ever sells it
Socket compatible with P7?
If Q7 was/is socket compatible with Power7 then it would make sense, you could configure the system for either thread-intensive or "heavy" thread work by mixing the chips in the system. I'm surprised IBM canned it for now, but then maybe they've realised (unlike Sun) that there just isn't the demand yet for massively-threaded workloads outside of a very narrow market. It's a neat design to have in the back pocket should IBM ever need to quickly bring a massively-cored chip to market, especially if it is P7 socket-compatible. I suppose they need to concentrate on driving Power6 sales for now (that's a troublesome enough change for most of their customers what with everything needing a recompile) and don't need the distraction of another product.
Applications do not need a recompile on Power6....most of the benchmarks IBM released with p6 announce were not recompiled.....that is just FUD from HP/Sun