IBM POWER10 Specs: Detailed Analysis

Gary Baker

Gary Baker


August 22nd 2020

On August 21 IBM has officially released a new generation of IBM POWER central processing unit (CPU) series: IBM POWER10. IBM POWER10 aims to provide enterprises with a platform that meets the unique hybrid cloud computing needs. The processor uses a 7nm process, focusing on energy efficiency and performance. Compared with the IBM POWER9 processor, the energy efficiency, workload capacity and container density of the IBM POWER10 are expected to be increased by 3 times.

IBM POWER10 Specs:  Detailed Analysis  image 1

The design of the IBM POWER10 processor lasted for five years, and it has obtained hundreds of new patents and pending patents. It is an important milestone in the development of the POWER series. Its innovations include:

IBM's first commercial 7nm processor

Compared with IBM POWER9, under the same power consumption, the capacity and processor energy efficiency can be increased by 3 times, thereby achieving higher performance.

Support PB-level memory cluster

Using the breakthrough Memory Inception new technology, in the memory-intensive workloads of independent software vendors (ISV) such as SAP, SAS Institute, and large-scale artificial intelligence (AI) applications, it can improve the capacity and the economics of the cloud.

Safety function based on hardware design

Including memory encryption technology transparent to the user layer, providing end-to-end security. The design of the IBM POWER10 processor significantly increases the encryption speed. The number of encryption engines in the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) per core is four times that of IBM POWER9, which is suitable for today’s most stringent standards and future encryption standards (such as quantum security encryption). And fully homomorphic encryption). The safety of the container has also been further enhanced.

Adopt a new processor core architecture

Built-in embedded matrix math accelerator. Compared with the IBM POWER9 processor, the AI ​​inference speed of FP32, BFloat16 and INT8 calculations in each socket is increased by 10 times, 15 times and 20 times respectively, thus integrating AI into commercial applications and achieving better Deep insight.

IBM POWER10 Specs:  Detailed Analysis  image 11

IBM POWER10 Specs:  Detailed Analysis  image 12

IBM POWER10 7nm process

Can improve energy efficiency and capacity

IBM POWER10 is IBM's first commercial chip using 7nm technology. For more than ten years, the IBM Research Institute has been conducting research and development cooperation with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., including the first 7nm test chip in the semiconductor industry to be built with IBM Research Alliance partners.

Based on this technology and attention to performance and efficiency design, IBM POWER10 is expected to increase the energy efficiency of each socket processor by 3 times. Compared with IBM POWER9, it can increase the workload capacity under the same power consumption. Compared with IBM POWER9-based systems, this expected increase in capacity enables IBM POWER10-based servers to increase the density of users, workloads, and OpenShift containers by 3 times in terms of hybrid cloud workloads. Thereby improving efficiency and reducing costs (such as space and energy costs), while hybrid cloud users can also complete more work in a smaller footprint.

Note: Under the same energy consumption, based on the pre-silicon engineering analysis on the POWER10 dual socket server with 2x30 core modules and POWER9 dual socket server with 2x12 core modules, the data is 3 The result of double performance.

Harden the hardware to further protect the hybrid cloud

With the additional AES encryption engine, IBM POWER10 can provide hardware memory encryption for the current leading encryption standards and future encryption protocols (such as quantum security encryption and fully homomorphic encryption), ensuring end-to-end security and achieving higher encryption performance.

In addition, in order to ensure the security of higher-density containers, IBM POWER10 can provide new hardware mandatory container protection and isolation functions jointly developed with IBM POWER10 firmware. If a container is compromised, the POWER10 processor can prevent other containers in the same virtual machine (VM) from such intrusions.

Cyber ​​attacks continue to evolve, and newly discovered vulnerabilities may cause business interruptions while waiting for repairs. In order to better enable customers to actively defend against new application vulnerabilities in real time, IBM POWER10 can provide users with dynamic execution register control, which means that users will be able to design more defensive applications and minimize performance losses.

IBM POWER10 Specs:  Detailed Analysis  image 21

PB-level memory cluster

Ensure the flexibility of multiple hybrid deployments

For a long time, IBM POWER has been a leader in providing various flexible deployments for hybrid cloud and local workloads through the combination of hardware and software functions. The IBM POWER10 processor is designed to improve this ability, enabling it to share the physical memory of the cluster in various configurations on IBM POWER10-based systems. With the help of the breakthrough new technology of Memory Inception, the IBM POWER10 processor allows any server based on the IBM POWER10 processor in the cluster to access and share each other's memory, thereby creating a PB-level memory cluster.

Memory Inception technology can enable cloud providers to use fewer servers to provide more functions, while enabling cloud users to rent fewer resources to meet their IT needs, saving costs and reducing energy consumption for both parties.

Integrate AI into enterprise hybrid cloud

As more and more business applications of transactional and analytical workflows begin to adopt AI technology, AI reasoning has gradually become the core of enterprise applications. The IBM POWER10 processor is designed to enhance core AI reasoning capabilities without the need for additional dedicated hardware.

Rocking Review is informed that compared with the IBM POWER9 processor, IBM POWER10 has a built-in matrix math accelerator, which makes the AI ​​inference speed of FP32, BFloat16 and INT8 calculations 10 times, 15 times and 20 times faster, respectively, and increases enterprise AI inference workload The performance helps companies adopt the AI ​​models they trained and apply them to actual work. With IBM's multiple AI software portfolios, IBM POWER10 is expected to integrate AI workloads into typical enterprise applications to gather more impactful insights from data.

Note: Based on the silicon of various workloads (Linpack. Resnet-50 FP32, Resnet-50 Bfloat16 and Resnet-50 INT8) on POWER10 dual socket servers with 2x30 core modules and POWER9 dual socket servers with 2x12 core modules The previous engineering analysis yielded a result of 10-20 times.

Building the enterprise hybrid cloud of the future

In addition, with the optimization of Red Hat OpenShift and hardware, IBM will create a hybrid cloud that can be expected in the future. Samsung Electronics will be responsible for the production of the IBM POWER10 processor, combining Samsung's industry-leading semiconductor manufacturing technology with IBM's CPU design.

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