Today (8th Feb, 2010) IBM is announcing the first of the POWER7 processor-based systems that, compared to POWER6, deliver four times the energy efficiency and twice the performance at the same or better price. Simply put, this is one of those rare breakthrough announcements that delivers a massive leap in system technology. And, yes, IBM i is right at the center of the POWER7 action! We’re announcing three new systems that support IBM i. The Power 750 is a midrange business server that’s ENERGY STAR qualified and offers up to 32 POWER7 cores with up to 181,000 CPW. The Power 770 extends the very successful 570 modular enterprise server, with up to 64 POWER7 cores and up to 292,000 CPW. The third new server, the Power 780, introduces a new category of scalable high-end servers, with up to 64 POWER7 cores, up to 343,000 CPW and a new TurboCore option for optimal throughput. IBM is making a statement of direction that we will deliver a high-end server in 2010 that will offer up to 256 cores — remarkably in the same physical footprint and energy envelope as the current POWER6 Power 595. For the many mid-sized companies using the Power 520 server, IBM is also making a statement of direction that we will provide upgrade paths in 2010 from the POWER6 Power 520 2- and 4-core servers to next generation of POWER7 processor-based entry servers. The POWER7 processor features a multi-core design with up to 8 cores per socket, ranging between 3.0 and 4.14 GHz, and delivering more performance per core with greater energy efficiency than POWER6. Compare a Power 550 5.0 GHz POWER6 with 8 cores versus a Power 750 at 3.3 GHz with 8 cores, for example, and you get 26 percent more CPW performance. Or compare a Power 570 5.0 GHz POWER6 with 16 cores, versus a Power 780 at 3.86 GHz, and you get 35 percent more CPW performance. Impressive. Note that POWER7 is the first Power processor generation to support all of our tier-one operating systems — AIX, IBM i and Linux — up front. And since IBM i 6.1.1 — which we announced last October — is supported with POWER7, we already have thousands of applications ready to run. And, with IBM i 7.1 coming soon, this year looks to be a great one for IBM i users.
Written by Ian Jarman, Power Systems Software manager.