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IBM launches Power7+ chips in three Unix servers

Claims AIX performance improvements
Wed Oct 03 2012, 14:49
IBM Power 770 stack

ENTERPRISE VENDOR IBM has released three servers based on its new Power7+ processors, claiming significantly increased performance.

IBM, which has stood by its Power architecture despite Intel's Xeon processor taking the vast majority of server chip sales in the last decade, has released its Power 770, Power 780 and Power 795 servers sporting new Power7+ chips. The firm said the chips will deliver a 30 to 40 percent increase in performance of application workloads compared to servers using previous generation chips.

IBM likes to push its Power customers onto its own proprietary AIX Unix operating system and claimed that aside from the significant increase in level 3 cache on the Power7+ chips, AIX's file encryption algorithms run quicker on its latest chips. The firm also highlighted memory compression, claiming that Power7+ chips do not consume more power than their predecessors.

IBM previously released specifications for its Power7+ processors back in August, citing eight cores packaged in either a single or dual chip module, with each core having 10MB of level 3 cache. The firm also revealed that the chips would be fabbed on a 32nm process node.

Despite IBM flogging considerable numbers of servers sporting Intel Xeon chips, the firm has continued down the expensive road of designing and building its Power chips in an market that is becoming progressively smaller.

Big Blue is unlikely to stop supporting Power and AIX any time soon due to the shelf life of its Power servers running into decades, but IBM could find itself selling to ever fewer customers as commodity x86 kit continues to gain traditional server-like features and Linux, which IBM has supported for well over a decade, matures to a point where AIX and HP-UX simply won't be worth the extra cost. µ


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