ARMONK, N.Y. TheStreet -- IBM ( IBM) has unveiled the latest version of its Power processors, which it claims will lay the foundation for companies' green IT efforts and help it tap into new revenue streams.

With an increasing heap of IT equipment packed into corporate datacenters, firms have been wrestling with spiraling energy costs, prompting companies like IBM and Microsoft ( MSFT) to beat an increasingly eco-friendly drum. There is, of course, method in this madness, and IBM is keen to tap into users' energy concerns while boosting revenue.
IBM

The Power 7 chips, launched today, use a quarter of the energy used by the Power 6, but the new products offer double the performance, says IBM.

IBM's Smarter Planet strategy aims to build green technologies, which will require lower-power processors says Ross Mauri, the company's general manager of Power systems.

"Think about smarter energy grids or smarter traffic solutions and smarter healthcare," he told TheStreet. "That has opened up a new set of opportunities."

The Power 7 chips, which compete against Sparc and Niagara processors from Sun ( JAVA) (now part of Oracle ( ORCL)) and Hewlett-Packard's ( HPQ) Itanium chips, support the Unix, AIX, and Linux operating systems.

IBM also unveiled four new mid-range servers on Monday, the first to feature Power 7 chips. Mauri promised that Power 7 processors will eventually find their way into other IBM systems and will replace Power 6 chips.

"There will be other announcements throughout the year for other hardware brands," he said, explaining that this will encompass other servers and storage devices. "We will introduce the low-end servers, including a blade, and the rest of the high end later in the year."

IBM may need to carve out new revenue streams during the coming months. Despite the hardware and software giant's recent strong fourth-quarter results and bullish 2010 guidance, there are concerns that the recession could impact IT spending throughout this year.

The Armonk, N.Y., firm has also been a victim of the recent slump in tech stocks, falling from $134.14 on January 19. to a closing price of $123.52 on Friday.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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