IBM on Monday took the wraps off its latest POWER RISC CPU family, optimized for enterprise hybrid-cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing, along with a number of other improvements.
Power is the last of the Unix processors from the 1990s, when Sun Microsystems, HP, SGI, and IBM all had competing Unixes and RISC processors to go with them. Unix gave way to Linux and RISC gave way to x86, but IBM holds on.
This is IBM’s first 7-nanometer processor, and IBM claims it will deliver an up-to-three-times improvement in capacity and processor energy efficiency within the same power envelope as its POWER9 predecessor. The processor comes in a 15-core design (actually 16-cores but one is not used) and allows for single or dual chip models, so IBM can put two processors in the same form factor. Each core can have up to eight threads, and each socket supports up to 4TB of memory.