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IBM reveals most powerful data centre processor yet

(Image credit: Image Credit: Ricochet64 / Shutterstock)

IBM has just launched its “most powerful and energy-efficient processor” to date – the IBM Power10.

As a direct successor to the IBM Power9, the processor is designed to be used in a data center context, by large enterprises looking to leverage AI solutions.

The chip is the first launched by IBM to use a 7nm process and will be manufactured by Samsung Electronics.

IBM promises a threefold increase in the workload capacity, compared to Power9, and a 20 times increase in speed and efficiency in terms of AI computing power (in certain contexts).

The Power10, according to ITPro, was designed as a direct competitor to Intel’s 7nm chips, which should see the light of day in either 2022 or 2023. IBM’s new chip is expected to ship in the second half of 2021.

IBM also promises increased container security, which includes transparent memory encryption in direct support of end-to-end security. The chip will also feature Memory Inception technology, which offers the ability to pool petabytes of memory between multiple servers, cutting data centers costs significantly.

“Enterprise-grade hybrid clouds require a robust on-premises and off-site architecture inclusive of hardware and co-optimized software,” said Stephen Leonard, GM of IBM Cognitive System.

"With IBM Power10 we've designed the premier processor for enterprise hybrid cloud, delivering the performance and security that clients expect from IBM. With our stated goal of making Red Hat OpenShift the default choice for hybrid cloud, IBM Power10 brings hardware-based capacity and security enhancements for containers to the IT infrastructure level."

There will be two types of Power10 chips: a 602-square millimeter single-chip module and a 1,204-square millimeter dual-chip module.

The former contains 18 billion transistors, with more than 4.0 GHz in frequency, 15 cores and 120 simultaneous threads. The latter boasts 36 billion transistors, packing more than 3.5 GHz in frequency and more than 30 cores with 240 threads.