London (UK) – IBM today announced what it claims to be the “fastest microprocessor ever built.”
Built in a 65 nm process, the new processor houses 790 million transistors and runs at a clock speed of 4.7 GHz. Compared to the Power5 chip, the new version offers more than double the clock speed, but also four times the cache (8 MB). The performance characteristics were enough to launch a new System p570 19” rack server to 25 performance benchmark records “across a broad range of business and technical applications,” IBM said. In terms of bandwidth, the Power6 offers users an aggregate bandwidth of 300 GB/s – which in theory is enough to download Apple’s entire iTunes catalog in about 60 seconds.
What is remarkable about the processor is that IBM apparently made significant improvements in power consumption. According to the company the Power6 processor does not consumer more power at 4.7 GHz than the Power5 at 2.2 GHz – while providing roughly twice the overall performance. Scaled down to the predecessor’s clock speed, the Power6 consumes only half as much power through a process called “voltage/frequency slewing,” IBM claims. In terms of bandwidth, the Power6 offers users an aggregate bandwidth of 300 GB/s – which in theory is enough to download Apple’s entire iTunes catalog in about 60 seconds.
IBM said that the Power6 will be aiming to attract customers who have been using HP, Sun and Dell servers with Intel Itanium and Sun Sparc processors.