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 Chapter 2. OpenPOWER Ready System

This chapter covers the concept of OpenPOWER Ready from a system perspective. The following graphic Figure 2.1, “OpenPOWER System” provides an abstracted view of a notional OpenPOWER system and the key interfaces that need to be considered.


Figure 2.1. OpenPOWER System

The following describes the key attributes required for a system based on an OpenPOWER ISA Profile rev 1.0.0 chipset to be OpenPOWER Ready.

  1. OpenPOWER ISA Profile processor Chipset.


    For OpenPOWER ISA Profile V1.0.0 this means POWER8™, POWER8 with NVIDIA® NVLink™, or CP1 and at least one Centaur memory buffer with memory

  2. Firmware to initialize the hardware is a modest derivative of the OpenPOWER Abstraction Layer (OPAL) FirmWare base, with no firmware API/ABI changes that have not been accepted upstream.

    Developers are encouraged to contribute changes to the OPAL Firmware community as it makes sense for their business so that the community can help develop and maintain their platform.

    Platform vendors should remember to ensure a new and unique platform name in the device tree.

  3. At least one boot device. Storage or PXE Network boot.

  4. Must be able to install and run a current LTS (Long Term Support) version of Ubuntu® Server. At time of writing, Ubuntu® Server 14.04 LTS and/or Ubuntu® Server 16.04 LTS. Ubuntu in this context is an open source little endian OS based on the Linux® kernel, referred to as 'ubuntu server ppc64el' on official Ubuntu mirrors and archives.

    It is strongly suggested that in addition to the most current LTS version of Ubuntu® Server, SLES™, RedHat® Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Debian®, CentOS™, Fedora™, and/or openSUSE™ be shown to operate.

  5. System must successfully run an exerciser application. The exerciser application should be open source, compilable with open tools, and provide some output which can indicate functionality. Ideally, it would run against the "core I/O", run SMP, and provide output in a way that indicates some performance of the complete systems (procs and memory).

    SYSBENCH is an example of such an exerciser.

    HTX is an example of such an exerciser.

  6. PCIe® bus should support PCIe gen 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 adapters.

  7. A boot management chip to manage the Power On Reset (POR) and initial Initial Program Load (IPL) is needed.

    • Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) is a possible option

      For Example: ASPEED® AST2400

  8. A system level XML file as input to the OpenPOWER Build process for host firmware.

    Due to the level of details required in the XML, it is recommended to use the Open Power Serverwiz. This tool is available on github at

  9. PNOR, VPD, Thermal and Power devices. See for more infomation regarding OPAL FirmWare expectations.