IBM rolls out first 7nm processor as if to rub salt in Intel's wounds
IBM isn’t a name we see too much in the consumer tech space these days. Its chips once played a key role for Apple during its pre-Intel PowerPC days and most recently the Sony PlayStation 3. However, it remains a force in the server market and IBM has just announced its latest entrant, the Power10, which is fabricated on Samsung’s 7 nm EUV node.
Given the encroachment of ARM-based chips into the server market in the past 12-24 months, IBM is keen to highlight that the Power10 family is focused on energy efficiency, which has become as important in the server market as it is in the mobile consumer space. IBM has also employed an interesting new technology it calls “memory inception” that allows clusters of physical memory to be shared across pools of systems -- this helps to ensure optimal use of a server system-wide RAM resources at all times.
IBM also claims that the new Power10 chips offer 20x better performance in artificial intelligence tasks over the superseded Power9 generation -- again, this is an important feature needed to combat the rise of ARM-based that incorporate embedded AI processing capabilities. Naturally, security at the chip level is also a focus of the Power10 (another area that Intel has been struggling lately in addition to its 7 nm woes), which now includes 4x the number of AES encryption engines per core -- speaking of which, they come in up to 60 core configurations.
IBM’s Power10 chips are also likely to feature in the next generation of supercomputers, making the news of their arrival of interest to those in scientific communities as well.