Power6 processor to be clocked above 4GHz

While AMD, Intel, and even Sun will be pushing for more cores and threads in their upcoming processors, Big Blue intends to take a different approach. According to EE Times, IBM's Power6 processor will have two cores—just like the existing Power5—but it will double clock speed and memory bandwidth to 4-5GHz and 75GB/s, respectively. The Power6 will also have 8MB of L2 cache—over four times more than the Power5's 1.9MB cache.

Despite these increases, the Power6's power consumption will remain in line with that of the Power5 thanks to IBM's 65nm SOI process, new variable gate length and threshold voltage techniques, and the fact that IBM hasn't altered the Power6's pipeline depth to achieve its higher clock speeds. IBM is currently testing the Power6, and the company intends to ship the processor as a refresh for its System p server lineup in the middle of next year.

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