IBM introduces new servers for AI workloads

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IBM introduced a series of new servers dubbed "x86 killers". The devices, designed to give a significant boost to artificial intelligence, deep learning and advanced data analytics, were picked up by the Chinese telecommunications company Tencent, and IBM claims the results are basically out of this world.

"A large cluster of the new IBM OpenPOWER servers was able to run a data-intensive workload three times faster than its former x86-based infrastructure", IBM says in a press release. "While reducing the total number of servers used by two-thirds".

The first of the three, and obviously the flagship server, is the IBM Power System S822LC for High Performance Computing. It comes with a newly designed processor, it connects the new IBM POWER8 processor with Nvidia Tesla P100 Pascal GPUs through Nvidia NVLink. Nvidia NVLink is embedded at the silicon level and incorporated into the overall system design, allowing a five-times faster data flow, compared to a x86 system.

"The user insights and the business value you can deliver with advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence is increasingly gated by performance. Accelerated computing that can really drive big data workloads will become foundational in the cognitive era", says Doug Balog, general manager of POWER, IBM Systems. "Based on OpenPOWER innovations from partners such as NVIDIA, our new OpenPOWER Linux servers with POWERAccel set a new standard for these workloads compared with x86 processor-based servers".

All three servers, Power System S822LC for High Performance Computing, IBM Power System S821LC and the IBM Power System S822LC for Big Data are available today, with the starting price of $5,999 (£4,513).

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