Next-Generation Processor For Meeting Hybrid Cloud Computing Needs

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  • IBM’s energy efficient processor will be enabling faster and advanced secure cloud computing
  • The processor is expected to achieve 10x, 15x, and 20x faster AI inference to improve performance for enterprise AI inference workloads

IBM has announced the innovation details about the next generation of its IBM POWER central processing unit (CPU) family, the IBM POWER10. Designed to offer a platform that meets the unique requirements of enterprise hybrid cloud computing, the IBM POWER10 processor uses a design focused on energy efficiency and performance.

IBM Power10’s 3x gain in processor energy efficiency per socket and increased workload capacity will allow IBM POWER10-based systems to support up to 3x increase in users, workloads and OpenShift container density for hybrid cloud workloads. This can affect multiple datacentre attributes to drive greater efficiency and reduce costs, such as space and energy use, while also allowing hybrid cloud users to achieve more work.

Fast and secure performance

IBM POWER10 offers hardware memory encryption for end-to-end security and faster cryptography performance thanks to additional AES encryption engines for both current and future encryption standards such as quantum-safe cryptography and fully homomorphic encryption.

To further address new security considerations associated with the higher density of containers, IBM POWER10 delivers new hardware-enforced container protection and isolation. If a container were to be compromised, the POWER10 processor is designed to be able to prevent other containers in the same Virtual Machine (VM) from being affected by the same intrusion.

To better enable proactive defence against certain new application vulnerabilities in real-time, IBM POWER10 is designed to give users dynamic execution register control, allowing users to design applications that are more resistant to attacks with minimal performance loss.

Flexibility for hybrid cloud deployments

The IBM POWER10 processor strengthens a wide range of flexible deployments for hybrid cloud and on-premises workloads with the ability to pool or cluster physical memory across IBM POWER10-based systems in a variety of configurations. 

In a breakthrough new technology called Memory Inception, the IBM POWER10 processor is designed to allow any of the IBM POWER10 processor-based systems in a cluster to access and share each other’s memory, creating multi-Petabyte sized memory clusters.

For both cloud users and providers, Memory Inception offers potential cost and energy savings, as cloud providers can offer more capability using fewer servers, while cloud users can lease fewer resources to meet their IT needs. 

AI inference in enterprise applications

As AI continues to be more and more embedded in transactional and analytical workflows, AI inferencing is becoming central to enterprise applications. The IBM POWER10 processor is designed to enhance in-core AI inferencing capability without requiring additional specialised hardware.

With an embedded Matrix Math Accelerator, the IBM POWER10 processor is expected to achieve 10x, 15x, and 20x faster AI inference for FP32, BFloat16 and INT8 calculations respectively to improve performance for enterprise AI inference workloads as compared to IBM POWER9, helping enterprises to train and deploy their AI models in the field. With IBM’s broad portfolio of AI software, IBM POWER10 is expected to help infuse AI workloads into typical enterprise applications to obtain more impactful insights from data.

Designed over five years in a 7nm form factor, the IBM POWER10 processor-based systems are expected to be available in the second half of 2021. IBM POWER10-based servers will be delivering the future of the hybrid cloud. 

“Enterprise-grade hybrid clouds require a robust on-premises and off-site architecture inclusive of hardware and co-optimized software,” said Stephen Leonard, GM of IBM Cognitive Systems. “With IBM POWER10 we’ve designed the premier processor for enterprise hybrid cloud, delivering the performance and security that clients expect from IBM. With our stated goal of making Red Hat OpenShift the default choice for hybrid cloud, IBM POWER10 brings hardware-based capacity and security enhancements for containers to the IT infrastructure level.”


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