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Wednesday, April 09, 2008
New IBM Servers Powered by 5GHz Power6 Processors

IBM has unveiled a Power6-based version of its highest-end Unix server - the Power 595. The system runs on 32 dual-core 5GHz Power6 processors and becomes the world's faster Unix server line.

The company unveiled the Power 595 as well as a unique water-cooled supercomputer at a Thusday customer event in San Fransisco.

The new systems offer IBM virtualization technology and energy-saving capabilities to help reduce bottom-line operating costs, such as those for energy, floor space and systems management, while improving system performance.

The new 64-core, 128-thread Power 595 now ranks as the world's fastest UNIX system. Using the latest 5.0 GHz POWER6 processor chips with dual memory controllers, and leveraging a new symmetric multi-processor (SMP) point-to-point interconnect to communicate between its cores, the Power 595 bested the results of all IBM's competitors for running large two-tier environments running the SAP ERP application, according to data provided by IBM.

The Power 595 SMP point-to-point interconnect starts with 8-core nodes that are built from four dual-core POWER6 chips tightly integrated into one module with direct interconnects between all four chips in the node. Then these 8-core nodes are connected into a superlinear-scaling fashion meaning each time a node is added it is connected point-to-point to all previous nodes, so that together there are actually 28 interconnects between those eight nodes. This provides massive amounts of bandwidth to gain the maximum exploitation of the total system processor, memory and cache capability.

The Power 595 supports up to 4 TB of memory per server, four memory operations per cycle and a memory bandwidth of more than 1.3 TB/sec (terabytes per second), which is enough to transfer in each second the amount of information printed on the paper made from 50,000 trees.

IBM's new POWER6 "Hydro-Cluster" supercomputer, the Power 575, is built to help users tackle some of the world's most challenging problems in fields such as energy, aerospace and weather modeling. The system uses a unique, in-rack, water-cooling system and with 448 processor cores per rack offers users nearly five times the performance and more than three times the energy efficiency of its predecessor, IBM's POWER5+ processor-based p575 supercomputer, according to IBM.

The Power 595 supports AIX, the IBM UNIX operating system. Support for both IBM i and Linux is planned for the second half of 2008. IBM is offering upgrade options.

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