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IBM to unleash new mainframe computers running world's fastest microprocessor

IBM may not be releasing a new smartphone or tablet any time soon, but is making headlines with the introduction of a new line of mainframe computers that the manufacturer calls its "most powerful and technologically advanced ever."

The zEnterprise EC12 mainframe server is designed to allow users to quickly and securely sift through hoards of data, which should be a breeze, considering the 5.5GHz microprocessor powering the zEC12 is the fastest chip in the world, according to IBM.

Blood, sweat, and more than $1 billion in IBM research spending at 18 global labs was put into developing the zEC12, which the company touts as one of the most secure enterprise systems ever courtesy of its Common Creteria Evaluation Assurance Level 5+ security classification. It also carries a tamper-resistant cryptographic co-processor.

Mainframes are used to carry and process significant amounts of data for corporations ranging from banks to retailers. IBM said the zEC12 allows customers to "gain insights from client information that will enable it to provide clients with a more customizable shopping experience."

The company is hoping to turn the new mainframe into a private cloud environment, offering its Linux system to clients to lower IT operating costs for energy use, floor space, and software licensing.

"As one of the world's most secure systems, with features designed to meet the security and compliance requirements of different industries," IBM said, the new mainframe also allows users to run traditional IT and private cloud applications on a single system.

Earlier this month, IBM reportedly had its eye on a different kind of technology. The company made an "informal approach" to Research in Motion about acquiring the enterprise end of the BlackBerry maker's business, according to reports.

But IBM did not respond to the rumour at the time, and has made no announcements regarding any plans to acquire mobile device technology.