Power6 Entry Systems Firmware

Applies to:  8204-E8A,  8203-E4A, 9407-M15,  9408-M25, and 9409-M50

This document provides information about the installation of Licensed Machine or Licensed Internal Code, which is sometimes referred to generically as microcode or firmware.


1.0 Systems Affected

This package provides firmware for System p 550 (8204-E8A), System p 520 (8203-E4A), System i 515 (9407-M15), System i 525 (9408-M25) and System i 550 (9409-M50) servers only.  Do not use on any other systems.

The firmware level in this package is:

2.0 Important Information

 Support for EnergyScaletm and Active Energy Managertm

For more information on the energy management features now available, please see the  EnergyScaletm white paper.

Signal Cable in an InfiniBand loop, and InfiniBand I/0 drawer power on/off

Recently, internal IBM testing has discovered a reliability issue when concurrently plugging signal cables in an InfiniBand loop, or when an InfiniBand I/O drawer in the loop is powered off, during system operation.  Until a new level of system firmware is released that fixes this issue, IBM recommends that you do not follow any procedures, either from service publications, or from the HMC, that indicate this can be done concurrently.  To avoid potential problems, ensure that all partitions that utilize the resources in the affected InfiniBand loop are shut down prior to taking any actions with the cabling, or powering down the InfiniBand I/O drawer.  In the rare event that an InfiniBand cable is accidentally unplugged, do not attempt to replug the cable without quiescing all partitions that are utilizing resources in any of the InfiniBand I/O drawers in the loop.

The exposure exists on a 8204-E8A system if you have external InfiniBand I/O drawers connected to a feature code/CCIN 5616, which is the Dual Port 12X InfiniBand/GX+ Card.
   In an AIX partition  on an 8204-E8A system, check for feature code/CCIN 5616 by running both of the following AIX commands:
      lscfg -vp | grep -p P1-C7
      lscfg -vp | grep -p P1-C8

If you have difficulty identifying the presence of these adapters in any system, contact support for assistance.

If an InfiniBand/GX+ adapter is found in any of the locations above, you should not concurrently plug InfiniBand signal cables or power off an I/O drawer on that InfiniBand loop.

When system firmware is released that includes a fix for this problem, it will be clearly documented in the firmware description section of the description document.

Concurrent Firmware Updates

Concurrent system firmware update is only supported on HMC - Managed Systems only.

Memory Considerations for Firmware Upgrades

The increase in memory used by the firmware is due to the additional functionality in later firmware releases.

HMC-Managed Systems

For information concerning HMC releases and to access the HMC code packages, go to the following URL:  http://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/set2/sas/f/hmc/home.html

NOTE:   You must be logged in as hscroot in order for the firmware installation to complete correctly.

Systems Not Managed by an HMC

Instructions for installing firmware on systems that are not managed by an HMC can be found in the section called "Obtaining server firmware updates through AIX or Linux without an HMC" in Chapter 5 of the Operations Guide for ASMI and Nonpartitioned Systems, SA76-0094.  This publication can be viewed at:  http://publib3.boulder.ibm.com:9770/infocenter/systems/topic/iphdx/sa76-0094.pdf

3.0 Firmware Information and Description

Use the following example as a reference to determine whether your installation will be concurrent or disruptive.

Note:  The file names and service pack levels used in the examples are for clarification only, and are not
             necessarily levels that have been, or will be released.

An installation is disruptive if:

              Example:  Currently installed release is EL320, new release is EL330                Example:  EL320_120_120 is disruptive, no matter what level of EL320 is currently
                                   installed on the system                  Example:  Currently installed service pack is EL320_120_120 and
                                     new service pack is EL320_152_130

An installation is concurrent if:

              Example: Currently installed service pack  is EL320_126_120,
                                 new service pack is EL320_143_120.

System firmware file naming convention:


NOTE:  Values of service pack and last disruptive service pack  level (YYY and ZZZ) are only unique within a release level (XXX).  For example, 01EL320_067_045 and 01EL330_067_053 are different service packs.

Firmware Information and Update Description

Filename Size Checksum
01EL320_040_031.rpm 21564183 65481



8204-E8A  Impact:  Serviceability                 Severity:  Special  Attention
8203-E4A  Impact:  New                                  Severity:   New

New Features and Functions:

  • Support for the 8203-E4A system was added.
Fixes that affect all model E8A systems:
  • DEFERRED:  A problem was fixed that caused a system crash (with SRC B131E504) by changing the initialization settings of the I/O control hardware.
  • A problem was fixed that, under certain circumstances, caused the InfiniBand adapter to stop responding to InfiniBand requests. 
  • A problem was fixed that caused SRC B1813014 to be logged after a successful system firmware installation.  This SRC will be logged when this level of firmware is installed and will generate a call home; it should be ignored.  It will not be logged during subsequent installations.
System firmware changes that affect certain model E8A systems:
  • On systems with a 1519-100 tower attached, a problem was fixed that caused the location code of a connector on the integrated virtual IOP to be displayed as Un-SE1-SE1-T1 instead of Un-SE1-T1.
  • On systems with 7134-G30 I/O drawers attached in certain cabling configurations, a problem was fixed that prevented the I/O port labels from being displayed for the port location codes on the hardware topology screens.
  • On systems running system firmware level EL320_031, a problem was fixed that caused attempts to call home to fail.
  • On systems running the Active Energy Managertm, a problem was fixed that caused the Exhaust Heat Index (EHI) to read up to 21 degrees lower than the actual exhaust air temperature.


Impact:  New                 Severity: New

Features and Functions:

  • Support for the creation of multiple virtual shared processor pools (VSPPs) within the one physical pool. (In order for AIX performance tools to report the correct information on systems configured with multiple shared processor pools, a minimum of AIX 5.3 TL07 or AIX 6.1 must be running.)
  • Support for the "hyperboot" boot speed option in the power on/off menu on the Advanced System Management interface (ASMI).
  • Support for the capability to move a running AIX or Linux partition from one system to another compatible system with a minimum of disruption. 
  • Support for the collection of extended I/O device information (independent of the presence of an operating system) when a system is first connected to an HMC and is still in the manufacturing default state. 
  • Support for EnergyScaletm and Active Energy Managertm.  For more information on the energy management features now available, please see the EnergyScaletm white paper
Note 1:  The lowest power cap that Active Energy Managertm  will allow the user to set is below the power value that can be  guaranteed. To avoid error conditions, set the power cap above the power used by the system at maximum load.  See the EnergyScaletm white paper at the link above for more information on how to set the power cap.

Note 2: The Exhaust Heat Index (EHI), as shown on Active Energy Managertm, may read up to 21 degrees lower than the actual exhaust air temperature.

4.0 How to Determine Currently Installed Firmware Level

You can view the server's current firmware level on the Advanced System Management Interface (ASMI) Welcome pane.  It appears in the top right corner.   Example:  EL320_040.

5.0 Downloading the Firmware Package

The firmware is located at the web site:


Follow the instructions on this web page. You must read and agree to the license agreement to obtain the firmware packages.

In the drop-down box, choose the entry for your specific machine type and model.

You may download the rpm file for system firmware from this location to your server, an ftp server, or a CD-ROM. If your system is HMC-managed, you will also need to download the xml file located on the final download page.  Make sure the file names have the format 01EL3xx_yyy_zzz, with an extension of .rpm and .xml, before copying them to your server, an ftp server or CD-ROM.  If using a CD-ROM, copy the .rpm and .xml files to the CD-ROM using a local CD-ROM burner utility.

Another method is to download the ISO image and create a CD-ROM to use with your HMC.

Note: If your HMC is not internet-connected you will need to download the new firmware level to a CD-ROM or ftp server.

6.0 Installing the Firmware

The method used to install new firmware will depend on the release level of firmware which is currently installed on your server. The release level can be determined by the prefix of the new firmware's filename.


Where XXX =  release level

Instructions for installing firmware updates and upgrades can be found in the Operations Guide for the Hardware Management Console and Managed Systems, see Chapter 9. Updates, section Managed Systems Updates.


7.0 Change History

Jul 02, 2008 Added a pointer to instructions for installing firmware on systems not managed by an HMC in Section 2.0.
Jun 24,2008 Added information concerning concurrent firmware updates in Section 2.0.
Apr 18, 2008 - Added 9407-M15 and 9408-M25 to the list of supported systems.
- Changed link to the Operations Guide for the Hardware Management Console and Managed Systems.