Transistors are getting smaller and smaller. When introduced in 1990, IBM's POWER 1
microprocessor had a mind boggling (at the time) 800,000 transistors per chip. Today, the POWER
6 has approximately 800 million!
Close to a billion transistors are great for the consumer, as they enable new
applications in smaller devices as well as making our PC applications run faster. But this
kind of density presents extraordinary challenges to the engineers and testers responsible
for production and test. For example, how do you test a chip with a billion interoperating
transistors? It is too expensive to build a prototype until there is a good level of
confidence the design is correct. The answer lies in software simulation - not one or two
simulations, but millions of simulations per day generating terabytes of data for the life of the development project.
What do simulations need to run? Well... many things, but at the heart of the system is compute
power. Lots of computing power, hundreds of thousands of nodes running in a grid
with lots of storage. This is the type of environment Tivoli loves! Managing
thousands of nodes with Tivoli Monitoring, managing storage with Tivoli Storage Manager and
TotalStorage Productivity Center and the grid with Tivoli Workload Scheduler LoadLeveler.
ie: a very interesting space for our Tivoli Industry Solution initiative.
Seems like a lot of management but consider the advantages which include: Significantly higher grid
utilization, significantly lower cost of ownership, shorter chip development times... and of
course all this leads to less expensive and more reliable chips for us the consumer!