OpenPOWER architecture platform reference doc available

Stewart Smith posted information about public availability of the OpenPOWER Foundation’s PAPR (Power Architecture Platform Reference) document:

PAPR is the Power Architecture Platform Reference document. It’s a short read at only 890 pages and defines the virtualised environment that guests run in on PowerKVM and PowerVM (i.e. what is referred to as ‘pseries’ platform in the Linux kernel). As part of the OpenPower Foundation, we’re looking at ensuring this is up to date, documents KVM specific things as well as splitting out the bits that are common to OPAL and PAPR into their own documents.

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Document URL:

The document appears to be dated March 2015. There are lots of ‘firmware’ references in it! I couldn’t find any other information about this document from the web site. However, there are two other OpenPOWER specs under public review, due mid-month:

Running OpenPOWER firmware with QEMU

I’ve not had a chance to learn OpenPOWER’s firmware yet. Luckily, Stewart Smith blogs on this topic, so we can learn from him. He just posted two new articles on OpenPOWER, the second one is useful for newbies like me, getting started with OpenPOWER.  🙂


Learning OpenPOWER firmware

A few days ago, I blogged about AMI joining OpenPOWER. Recently, there’s been some other activity in OpenPOWER.

IBM just announced SuperVessel, an OpenPOWER-based cloud for developers:

It appears the source code to the OpenPOWER firmware was released about a year ago. Luckily, some others have been blogging on OpenPOWER firmware already:

I’m just learning about the OpenPOWER community, it’s been years since I’ve written PowerPC assembly, and that was OS-level stuff, I am not aware of current OpenPOWER firmware technology. I probably won’t have a lot of time to post blog entries next week, but but I’ll have some more on OpenPOWER firmware in future blog posts.


AMI (American Megatrends, Inc.), one of the original PC BIOS vendors, just joined the OpenPOWER Foundation. AMI’s “MegaRAC SP-X for POWER8” product was launched in support of TYAN’s first non-IBM branded OpenPOWER commercial server, which they’re demoing at COMPUTEX TAIPEI this week. MegaRAC SP-X for POWER8 includes server firmware technology. Excerpts from their PR:

“AMI joins a growing roster of technology organizations working collaboratively to build advanced server, networking, storage and acceleration technology as well as industry-leading open source software aimed at delivering more choice, control and flexibility to developers of next-generation, hyperscale and cloud data centers. The group makes POWER hardware and software available to open development for the first time, as well as making POWER intellectual property licensable to others, greatly expanding the ecosystem of innovators on the platform. AMI has been working with IBM and other OpenPOWER Foundation members like Tyan to develop enterprise server and networking solutions for next-generation data centers that integrate IBM POWER CPUs and AMI MegaRAC(R) Remote Management Firmware / Software Solutions. “

“MegaRAC(R) SP-X for POWER8 is a powerful development framework for server management solutions composed of firmware and software components, based on industry standards like IPMI 2.0, SMASH, Serial over LAN (SOL) and key serviceability features like remote presence, CIM profiles and advanced automation. MegaRAC SP-X features a high level of modularity, with the ability to easily configure and build the firmware image by selecting features using an intuitive graphical development tool chain. These features are available in independently maintained packages, for superior manageability of the firmware stack.”

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