IBM makes available the POWER10 Functional Simulator


Simulators are an important way of testing compatibility with future architectures, and IBM has now released a functional simulator for POWER10. Now, we continue to watch POWER10 closely here at Talospace because of as-yet unaddressed concerns over just how "open" it is compared to POWER8 and POWER9, and we have not heard of any workstation-class hardware announced around it yet (from Raptor or anyone else). But we're always interested in the next generation of OpenPOWER, and the documentation states it provides "enough POWER10 processor complex functionality to allow the entire software stack to execute, including loading, booting and running a little endian Linux environment." Pretty cool, except you can't actually run it on OpenPOWER yet: there is no source code, and no binaries for ppc64le, although the page indicates it is supported; the only downloads as we go to press are for x86_64. IBM did eventually release ppc64le packages for Debian for the POWER9 functional simulator, so we expect the same here to happen eventually, even though it would have been a nice gesture to have it available immediately since we would be the very people most interested in trying it out. It includes a full instruction set model with SMP support, vector unit and the works, but as always you are warned "it may not model all aspects of the IBM Power Systems POWER10 hardware and thus may not exactly reflect the behavior of the POWER10 hardware."

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