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POWER9: What's Already Out There Says Plenty

September 19, 2017

In March I wrote about the POWER9 roadmap. More recently, I sat in on a confidential briefing about the upcoming release. All I can really say about it is that some exciting things are coming, and I can't wait to share the details with you.

Of course, per the confidentiality agreement I signed, I will have to wait. But the thing is, if you look at what's already been publicly divulged about POWER9 (see here, here, here and here), you'll get a clear, if incomplete, picture.

Here's what I'll add to that: If you look at the roadmaps for AIX and POWER, you'll see that IBM delivers its solutions at a consistent pace. So if you consider the timelines of previous releases, it's safe to assume that we won't have to wait much longer for new products.

Plus, this supercomputer is already running a POWER9 solution:

Summit will deliver more than five times the computational performance of Titan’s 18,688 nodes, using only approximately 4,600 nodes when it arrives in 2018. Like Titan, Summit will have a hybrid architecture, and each node will contain multiple IBM POWER9 CPUs and NVIDIA Volta GPUs all connected together with NVIDIA’s high-speed NVLink. Each node will have over half a terabyte of coherent memory (high bandwidth memory + DDR4) addressable by all CPUs and GPUs plus 800GB of non-volatile RAM that can be used as a burst buffer or as extended memory. To provide a high rate of I/O throughput, the nodes will be connected in a non-blocking fat-tree using a dual-rail Mellanox EDR InfiniBand interconnect.

As I said, I'll write more as soon as I can. For now, a quick show of virtual hands: How many of you have made the move to POWER8, and how many plan to make the move to POWER9?

Posted September 19, 2017 | Permalink

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