The OpenPOWER Foundation has officially released the compliance definition for its now-open instruction set architecture, defining test suite requirements for both POWER8 and POWER9 ISAs, and has pledged to form a new Work Group for ISA-related activities.
“There is much excitement in the August 2019 announcement of open-sourcing the POWER Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), which provides the opportunity for experimentation and collaboration,” says Sandy Woodward, chair of the OpenPOWER Foundation Compliance Work Group. “When the hardware implementation of the ISA matures into a product, OpenPOWER ISA Compliance Definition comes in to play to ensure that software shown to execute properly on one compliant processor implementation will execute properly on a different also compliant processor implementation.
“How will the Compliance Work Group handle ISA compliance with the POWER ISA being open-sourced? A new OpenPOWER Work Group will be formed to focus on the POWER ISA activities, including documenting POWER ISA Subset definition and requirements. The Compliance Work Group will develop OpenPOWER ISA Compliance Definition specifications for the POWER ISA Subsets to give compliance guidance to ensure that software shown to execute properly on one compliant processor implementation will execute properly on a different also compliant processor implementation of the same ISA Subset.”
The Foundation has released two compliance definitions: The OpenPOWER ISA Compliance Definition, Revision 1.0 relates to systems implementing the POWER8 ISA; The OpenPOWER ISA Compliance Definition, Revision 2.0 relates to POWER9. Both build on IBM’s previously proprietary POWER ISA definition documents.
Woodward has indicated that the Foundation is happy to accept comments and feedback on both compliance documents via the Compliance Work Group mailing list.