Gameframes

(Originally posted 2007-04-27.)

Hmmm: IBM press release on the gameframe.

I’d like to see a lot more detail on this before I go “whoopie!” but it does sound like an intriguing idea. It would be the first “specialty” engine to actually feature different hardware. Reminds of me of the 3090 Vector Facility but it’s really nothing like it.

And at this stage there’s nothing about what will actually be shipped.

Still, I’m happy to see this because:

  • Someone’s getting to have fun like this in the mainframe world.
  • Hosting gaming servers (for example World of Warcraft) and Virtual Worlds (for example Secondlife) is an interesting and rapidly growing niche.

Update November 2007

First, here’s another developerWorks blogger’s take on the “gameframe”.

Second, according to the keynote at UK GSE Conference in October, we’re talking more “adjunct processor” than “specialty engine”. So more akin to Crypto than to zIIP.

Third, I’m thinking SMF 70 is going to have to evolve again to cope with this. At least that’s what I’d argue for.

But then nothing’s been announced beyond the original announcement. So we’ll just have to wait and see.

Update May 2008

I sat in an internal presentation a couple of days by my good friend Carl Parris in Poughkeepsie – who is leading the technical side of the project. I think the “gameframe” is in great shape and it’s highly likely I’m going to have some practical involvement with it in the early days. I’m frankly psych’ed. 🙂

Published by Martin Packer

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