IBM unveils next-generation IBM Power10 processor

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IBM has unveiled the next generation of its IBM Power central processing unit (CPU) family, the IBM Power10.

Designed to offer a platform to meet the needs of enterprise hybrid cloud computing, the IBM Power10 processor comes in a 7nm form factor and is said by the company to provide up to 3x greater processor energy efficiency, workload capacity, and container density than the IBM Power9 processor.

Designed over five years with hundreds of new and pending patents, the IBM POWER10 processor is described as an important evolution in IBM's roadmap for POWER, and according to IBM the Power10 chip has been designed to be faster at artificial intelligence computing tasks than its predecessor, doing such work up to 20 times faster than its previous generation of chip.

The Power10 chip will be manufactured by Samsung Electronics and is meant for use by businesses inside data centres. According to IBM, systems taking advantage of Power10 are expected to be available in the second half of 2021.

Some of the new processor innovations include:

  • IBM's First Commercialised 7nm Processor that is expected to deliver up to a 3x improvement in capacity and processor energy efficiency within the same power envelope as IBM Power9, allowing for greater performance.
  • Support for Multi-Petabyte Memory Clusters with a breakthrough new technology called Memory Inception, designed to improve cloud capacity and economics for memory-intensive workloads from ISVs like SAP, the SAS Institute, and others as well as large-model AI inference.
  • New Hardware-Enabled Security Capabilities including transparent memory encryption designed to support end-to-end security. The IBM Power10 processor is engineered to achieve significantly faster encryption performance with quadruple the number of AES encryption engines per core compared to IBM Powr9 for demanding standards and anticipated future cryptographic standards like quantum-safe cryptography and fully homomorphic encryption. It also brings new enhancements to container security.
  • New Processor Core Architectures in the IBM Power10 processor with an embedded Matrix Math Accelerator which is extrapolated to provide 10x, 15x and 20x faster AI inference for FP32, BFloat16 and INT8 calculations per socket respectively than the IBM Power9 processor to infuse AI into business applications and drive greater insights.