IBM today introduced the Power E1080 server, its first system powered by a Power10 IBM microprocessor. The new system reinforces IBM’s emphasis on hybrid cloud markets and the new chip beefs up its inference capabilities. IBM – like other CPU makers – is hoping to make inferencing a core capability of host CPUs and diminish the need for separate AI accelerators. IBM’s Power8 and Power9 were usually paired with Nvidia GPUs to deliver AI (and HPC) capabilities.
“When we were designing the E1080, we had to be cognizant of how the pandemic was changing not only consumer behavior, but also our customers’ behavior and needs from their IT infrastructure,” said Dylan Boday, vice president of product management for AI and hybrid cloud, in the official announcement. “The E1080 is IBM’s first system designed from the silicon up for hybrid cloud environments, a system tailor-built to serve as the foundation for our vision of a dynamic and secure, frictionless hybrid cloud experience.”
Few details about the Power10 chip were discussed, nor was a more detailed spec sheet for the Power E1080 presented at an analyst/press pre-briefing last week. IBM instead chose to cite new key functional capabilities that blended the boundary between system and chip and to highlight favorable benchmarks. General availability for E1080 is scheduled for later this month. No timetable was given for direct sales (if any) of the Power10 chips.
Here are the highlights as reported by IBM:
Enhancements for hybrid cloud such as by the minute metering of Red Hat software including Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, 4.1x greater OpenShift containerized throughput per core vs x86-based servers, and “architectural consistency and cloud-like flexibility across the entire hybrid cloud environment to drive agility and improve costs without application refactoring.”
New hardware-driven performance improvements that deliver up to 50 percent more performance and scalability than its predecessor the [Power9-based] IBM Power E980, while also reducing energy use and carbon footprint of the E980. The E1080 also features four matrix math accelerators per core, enabling 5x faster inference performance as compared to the E980.
New security tools designed for hybrid cloud environments including transparent memory encryption “so there is no additional management setup,” 4x the encryption engines per core, allowing for 2.5x faster AES encryption as compared to the IBM Power E980, and “security software for every level of the system stack.”
Robust ecosystem of ISVs, Business Partners, and support to broaden the capabilities of the IBM Power E1080 and how customers can build their hybrid cloud environment, including record-setting performance for SAP applications in an 8-socket system. IBM is also launching a new tiered Power Expert Care service to help clients as they protect their systems against the latest cybersecurity threats while also providing hardware and software coherence and higher systems availability.”
You can read the rest of the story at our sister site, HPCwire.