IBM POWER10: A Generation Ahead or a Millennium


Data Science, Hybrid Cloud and Big Data, wherever you see data seems to be the biggest resource. And that’s the popular belief, but let me break it down to you what is the biggest resource today is not a single entity but a combination i.e. data and processing power. Without either you can’t reign over the technological revolution. Data is a free resource, found in numerous forms in innumerable places; attaining data can be done with a little effort. But when it comes to processors they are meticulous winder that doesn’t happen to be everywhere. These wonders are brought to life & improved upon by the world’s few R&D giants, one of which is IBM. IBM has been a pioneer in the race of computational power and processors, IBM’s power line-up has allowed the industry to evolve for decades exponentially. And now IBM is out with the announcement of IBM POWER10, which will release in the 4th quarter of 2021. This server processor will be one of its kind and its features are already out, so gear up for some unbelievable power and numbers.

A server processor is different from your normal desktop processor. It does not have an integrated GPU, they have an increased number of cores which can result in high power dissipation thus they run at lower clock speeds. They include additional hardware devices to allow them to address large number of memory spaces & high capacity I/O devices. IBM Power10 is a server processor chip and it brings the legacy of IBM power to hybrid cloud. It is built to meet the needs of cloud computing platforms that demand reliability, performance and security.

IBM Power10 is built on Samsung 7nm process technology & is IBM’s first 7nm processor. With processors the rule goes like smaller the better thus, IBM power 10 brings to us 3 times greater efficiency & capacity than its predecessors. It is designed as a 16 core processor but you can utilize only 15 due to yield issues. IBM power 10 has SMT8 (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) i.e. each processor can contain up to 8 threads. Threads allow us to perform multitasking efficiently. And this chip takes multitasking to a whole new level. Power 10 can also divide one core featuring SMT8 into 2 cores featuring SMT4 thus a single chip can either be used as 15 core (SMT8) or 30 cores (SMT4).IBM power 10 supports single and dual sockets that means beside the general single chip module we can have dual-chip module which gives us the ability to have 30 SMT8 cores and it increases scalability and computational power exponentially.

IBM Power 10 uses Open Memory Interface (OMI) & serial memory communications; you don’t need to know what these terms mean but what they do. These provide you with extreme flexibilities this chip supports memory upgrades from DDR3 to DDR5, GDDR & HBM or persistent storage memory all depending upon what’s practical for you. Whereas in other processors like Intel & AMD you need to change the chip as the architecture may not support next generation improvements. Also Power 10 supports 1TB/s communications off the chip.

IBM POWER10 comes with a feature called Memory Inception. By using this any server is able to access memory on different physical servers that are present in the pool of servers & use it as its own. That means you are given access to the entire cluster of memory that is present in the pool. This gives you access to multi-petabyte clusters which is 100 times more than its competitors. That means if you require 16GB of RAM to run some application but your machine has only 8GB, you can use the 8GB present on some different machine at some different place which is connected to the pool as your own. This provides cost reduction for businesses that have memory extensive workload on Cloud.

IBM Power10 comes with AI improvements that means the CPU is able to deduce or inference new/additional information from previously trained AI models very fast & efficiently. To give you a number IBM power 10 has 20 times better faster than its predecessor Power 9. This allows Cloud platforms which are designed typically for enterprise workloads to infuse AI workloads which they are more complex but this chip can handle it easily into it. Irrespective of all this the factor of security is what makes this chip standout even more. In the dangers of rising cyber threat no matter how great a device is if it’s not secure it’s not useful. IBM power 10 has four times as many encryption engines as IBM power 9 keeping your data safer than ever.

Whatever we have seen or read so far about IBM POWER10, it is clearly visible they not only trying to bring a newer generation but they are turning to a newer page in history, as the world has moved to a new platform the cloud IBM with its Power 10 want to take it one step further and pave the future of Hybrid Cloud. And that is why the question IBM Power10: A generation ahead or a millennium?

Rishika Desai

Author Bio: This article has been written by Rishika Desai, B.Tech Computer Engineering Student at Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology (VIIT), Pune. She is a good dancer, poet and a writer. Animal love engulfs her heart and content writing comprises her present. You can follow Rishika on Twitter @ich_rish99.

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