IBM unveils its first seven-nanometre chip for next-generation hybrid cloud computing

The company’s new processor will significantly improve the efficiency of business workloads.

IBM has announced the tenth generation of its flagship Power processors, a smaller, faster, more energy-efficient seven-nanometre chip that businesses can expect to deploy inside their data centres in the second half of 2021.

The Power10 processor, which will be manufactured by Samsung Electronics, is half the size of its 14nm Power9 predecessor, and IBM said that the new device will handle up to three times more workload capacity and container density, significantly improving overall performance.

IBM’s Power9 is already used in one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, Summit, at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, alongside Nvidia Tesla GPUs.

Designed for servers running enterprise hybrid cloud workloads, the Power10 will complement IBM-acquired Red Hat’s container platform software OpenShift.

Stephen Leonard, general manager of IBM Cognitive Systems, said: “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.”

Leonard stressed that the chip is “about the size of a postage stamp”, yet houses 18 billion transistors. Five years in the making and with hundreds of new and pending patents, IBM is pitching Power10 as a CPU that focuses on energy efficiency and performance.


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