Blackbird supply chain likely to improve

(Thanks to a reader tip.) Although yours truly is a Talos man (and was ever since it was going to have a POWER8 in it), the Blackbird is certainly far more attractive in terms of price. Backorders due to COVID-19's effect on the global supply chain have plagued it for months, but Raptor management on IRC indicates that logjam may be breaking; the first sign just a few days ago is that the 18-core monster POWER9 v2s (DD2.3) were back in stock. Obviously 18-cores don't (routinely) go in Blackbirds, but their presence suggests the supply chain issues are resolving and that a minimum order from IBM was met.

Raptor is well aware that the Blackbirds, more so than the T2 and T2 Lite, are its leading workstation product, and said there was "lots of demand" too ("about the only positive in the whole pandemic-induced mess"). However, Raptor's Timothy Pearson in the same IRC chat also commented that "we're playing it safe and focusing more on the next generation products than taking risks with POWER9 ... I can categorically state that if COVID19 had never happened, we'd have already offered other chips and we'd have at least one other product on the market designed around P9 by now." The latter sounds like a reference to Condor, Raptor's cancelled LaGrange system, but as long as POWER10 still has openness concerns, what "other chips"?


  1. The cancellation of the Raptor's LaGrange single socket mainboard was comprehensable. But, a dual socket LaGrange mainboard would be still very interesting (at least for enthusiasts in the scientific world) because such an offer would combine the openness of the platform with the competitiveness to the existing world of dual socket boards with respect to memory bandwidth. Sure, there arise problems to squeeze all the components into an 12" x 13" size mainboard, but there exist, for instance, appropriate workstation or server cases for larger 15.2" by 13.2" size mainboards, too.


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