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September 8, 2016

IBM Debuts Power8 Chip with NVLink and 3 New Systems

John Russell

(Image courtesy IBM)

Not long after revealing more details about its next-gen Power9 chip due in 2017, IBM today rolled out three new Power8-based Linux servers and a new version of its Power8 chip featuring on-chip NVLink interconnect. One of the servers – Power S822LC for High Performance Computing – uses the new chip (Power8 with NVLink) to communicate with P100 Pascal GPUs, NVIDIA’s most recent and highest performing GPU.

The other servers – the Power S821LC and the Power S822LC for Big Data – also leverage GPU acceleration technology (K80 or P100) via PCIe interface and have IBM’s Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (CAPI) for use with Flash storage and FPGAs. All three servers are standard two-socket additions to IBM’s Linux line.

These introductions, said Sumit Gupta, VP, High Performance Computing and Analytics, IBM, should be seen as proof of IBM’s ongoing commitment to its vision of accelerated computing as the new paradigm, and of cognitive computing (writ large) and big data analytics as the major drivers (See HPCwire article, Think Fast: IBM Talks Acceleration in HPC and the Enterprise).

Also noteworthy is that the new systems are manufactured by partners. “All three of these OpenPOWER systems leverage the strengths and expertise of OpenPOWER partners, from acceleration capabilities to strengths in design and manufacturing. In the spirit of open we hope that our Industry partners who are manufacturing these systems, Wistron, an OpenPOWER partner, and Supermicro, will deliver POWER-based servers to their clients through their routes to market in order to proliferate the OpenPOWER ecosystem,” said Gupta.

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