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IBM launches Power7 chips PC

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

IBM on Monday is launching its long-anticipated Power7 processor and systems based on the chip.
IBM Power7 chip

The processor is a big step for IBM, integrating eight processing cores in one chip package, with every core capable of execute four tasks–called “threads”–turning an person chip into a virtual 32-core processor. As a yardstick, Intel’s high-end Xeon processors–systems that Power7 will compete with–typically have two threads per processing core.
Blg Blue has by now tipped its hand on the Power7 chip in discussions concerning its upcoming Blue Water supercomputer.

Power7 fuses the flagship Power chip design with key technology from a divide “Cell” processor–the latter was part of IBM’s Roadrunner supercomputer system at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. “We took some of that hereditary material from the Cell program–ways to do floating point (calculations)–and entrenched that right into the Power7 core,” Bradley McCredie, an IBM Fellow in the Systems and Technology Group,
last year.
Rivals include Hewlett-Packard servers based on Intel processors and servers from Sun Microsystems.
New Power7 systems

The new Power7 systems include:
* IBM Power 780: a new category of scalable, high-end servers, featuring an advanced modular design with up to 64 Power7 cores.
* IBM Power 770: a midrange system with up to 64 Power7 cores, featuring higher performance per core than Power6 processors and using up to 70 percent less energy for the same number of cores as Power6 processors.
* IBM Power 755: a high-performance computing cluster node with 32 Power7 cores.

IBM is touting the Power7’s ability to manage millions of transactions in real time–necessary for applications such as smart electrical grids. IBM said electric utilities can move from processing less than one million meter reads per day, in a traditional grid for example, to more than 85 million reads per day in a smart grid.
eMeter, a leading creator of software that runs e-grids, ran a successful benchmark on IBM Power6 systems for more than 20 million smart meters. “Combining eMeter and IBM’s Power7 we are sure we can hit much higher numbers to meet their needs,” Scott Smith, eMeter client business boss, said in a statement.

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