IBM Introduces World's Fastest Processor: 5.2GHz Enterprise Chip

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News Posted: Thu, Sep 2 2010 7:45 AM
Don't blink -- if you do, you may miss IBM's new processor. The company is boldly claiming that the chip within IBM's new zEnterprise clocks in at 5.2GHz, making it the world's fastest microprocessor. We're sure this claim could be challenged on multiple fronts, namely by hardcore overclockers who have seen their own chips operate at much higher speeds with the help of liquid nitrogen. But IBM's new silicon doesn't require any complicated cooling; it's just blisteringly fast.

Of course, this 5.2GHz chip won't find its way into any consumer PCs anytime soon, but that doesn't mean it won't end up there eventually. The new chip will ship to mainframe customers starting on September 10th, and IBM says that the record-breaking speed is necessary for businesses managing huge workloads, such as banks and retailers, especially as the world becomes increasingly more inter-connected, data has grown beyond the world's storage capacity, and business transactions continue to skyrocket.


The new zEnterprise technology is the result of an investment of more than $1.5 billion in IBM research and development in the zEnterprise line, as well as more than three years of collaboration with some of IBM's top clients around the world. If you're into details, the z196 processor is a four-core chip that contains 1.4 billion transistors on a 512-square millimeter (mm) surface. It's manufactured using IBM's 45 nanometer (nm) SOI processor technology, and it makes use of IBM's patented embedded DRAM (eDRAM) technology, which allows IBM to place dense DRAM caches, or components, on the same chips as high-speed microprocessors, resulting in improved performance.


IBM's z196 Processor - Copious Cache, Now at 5.2GHz

If you need more details, have a taste of this: "The core server in the zEnterprise System -- called zEnterprise 196 -- contains 96 of the world's fastest, most powerful microprocessors, capable of executing more than 50 billion instructions per second. That's roughly 17,000 times more instructions than the Model 91, the high-end of IBM's popular System/360 family, could execute in 1970." Pretty impressive, but there's no published price for obvious reasons. We're guessing it's more than your house, or something close.


Crysis anyone?
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fat78 replied on Thu, Sep 2 2010 5:13 PM

would love to see these overclocked lol

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hell yeah! Finally, 58.9 fps avg with Enthusiast Settings!

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Sep 2 2010 9:58 PM

>> Crysis anyone?

Hehe... good luck. That processor doesn't use x86 instructions, and that system doesn't run Windows. :)

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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Inspector replied on Thu, Sep 2 2010 10:41 PM

"and that system doesn't run Windows."

IT doesn't run windows? :O what have they done! :(...

lol i like the looks of that case, when will i be able to get my hands on one? :P Also are those 2 blocks the chip?

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Are we reaching our limit?

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Sep 3 2010 8:41 AM

>> IT doesn't run windows? :O what have they done! :(...

Don't worry, it runs Linux. Just start a petition to have Crysis ported and I'm sure they'll listen. haha... :D

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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We are, actually. Moore's Law (basically, the idea that the number of transistors rises exponentially) is expected only to accurately predict computing power growth up to just a few years from now, when the materials we use become so small that electrons would just flow freely through them, not to individual connectors and chips. Check these articles out:

http://news.cnet.com/New-life-for-Moores-Law/2009-1006_3-5672485.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_Law

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Wagan8r replied on Fri, Sep 17 2010 4:06 PM

Am I the only one who's thoroughly unimpressed?

First off, merely because it is clocked at 5.2GHz does NOT make it the fastest processor in the world. Clockspeed hasn't meant very much since the P4 days. If you could clock a Pentium 4 to 10GHz, it would still be a dog slow CPU by today's standards.

Secondly, they say 50 billion instructions, but don't say if they are floating point instructions which are more complex than simple instructions. Let's be nice and say that they meant 50 GFLOPS. That's with 96 processors, meaning 0.521 GFLOPS per processor. Let's be even nicer, and say that each processor can do 50 GFLOPS. Intel's Core i7-980X can do 107.55 GFLOPS, more than double IBM's zEnterprise. That's just unimpressive.

How can they possibly claim it is the fastest?

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actually they might build this processor for PCs eventually after all where do you think AMD comes from? I'll give you a hint look closely at the architecture Hmm where are the memory controllers located at? Hmm    LOL!

 

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Wagan8r:

Am I the only one who's thoroughly unimpressed...  they say 50 billion instructions, but don't say if they are floating point instructions which are more complex than simple instructions... How can they possibly claim it is the fastest?

Nice comment re: floating point instructions!  Cool Smile  I can't tell from the article whether this will be used for business intelligence/ quantitative analysis or lots of transaction processing. Either way, strange that IBM would spend $1.5 billion Hmm  on this zEnterprise given that they acquired Netezza a few weeks later. Netezza is an incredibly fast "appliance" for scientific and analytic computing.

Also, the article compares the zEnterprise to the IBM mainframe 360 (or was it 370?) series "Sierra". Says this runs 17,000 times faster.

That's 17,000 times faster than the 360 mainframe circa 1970! Confused  It would be a lot more meaningful to compare it to a 1985-era mainframe, or the 2010 mainframe equivalent.Geeked

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FNaeem replied on Tue, Aug 30 2011 10:27 AM

IBM is getting ready to topple VMware and Microsoft's strong hold on virtualization and cloud. This new partnership will definitely start the wheels for them. Here is more about the partnership: http://cloudtechsite.com/blogp...

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CLo replied on Thu, Sep 8 2011 12:31 PM

lol, how far can it overclock? and its huge..

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Pentium 4 at 10GHZ is definetly NOT a SLOW cpu.Also please stop claiming that this cpu has only 50 Gflops of processing power and wait for benchmarks.How can u compare a server cpu with an intel mainstream cpu?with what standards do u make the comparison?

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The money is really in big businesses buying these chips... not the small portion of PC enthusiasts... but I won't be surprised if these chips finds its way to common consumer market later on in the future.

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That 50 billion instructions per second not GFLOPS! Instruction is what the CPU can Process Word,letter or Computer Code and GFLOPS is the rate of Speed in Math wheither SP or DP instruction per Second of which

the IBM New CPU can do more than 332.8 GFLOPS in DP and 665.6 GFLOPS SP at 5.2 Ghz.all on a Quad Core

CPU from IBM

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