Re: Benchmarks ??
Here are some benchmarks that you asked for.
POWER7 is 14% faster than the old Intel Westmere-EX:
SPARC T4 is more than 2x faster than POWER7 on TPC-H
But sure, IBM has some record benchmarks, particularly in integer arithmetic. As Larry Ellison said: "IBM is faster for integer arithmetic. If IBM think companies do a lot of arithmetic, cool. We think they access a lot of data and run a lot of Java."
"We're better than IBM in Java, and we're going to beat them in integer arithmetic, and then there will be nothing left," he added.
I think it is funny that "IBM does not need any roadmaps". Maybe IBM had problems of keeping x86 at bay, and that is the reason? x86 is fast catching up on POWER, and the old Westmere-EX is almost as fast as POWER7 on some benchmarks. We soon have Ivy Bridge 10 core Xeons, I bet they will be faster than POWER7. And there is Haswell next year. "No need for roadmap"? That is so fanboyish blind it is funny. Normally, when IBM has something good, they bragg about it all the time. Silence is a sign of problem, and IBM tries to to not talk about their problems (for instance manufacturing problems) - as everybody does. IBM doubts the future of the POWER chips, as IBM are going to kill AIX and then have to compete with faster and cheaper x86 cpus.
SPARC T5 will also be presented at the same conference. It will be an improved T4: have double the number of cores: 16, and scale up to twice the number of cpus: 8. Which means 4x better performance than today's top T4 servers. T5 will be really brutal on database work loads, which is what really counts in the Enterprise. Oracle has officially said they will double the SPARC performance every second year, that is much more aggressive than any other cpu vendor. Not even the x86 camp is talking about such improvements.