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POWER9 in 2020: What’s Coming Ahead

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POWER9 , IBM’s latest family of scale-up servers, has been around since August 2018. Since it’s debut, they received several new members, along with other hardware upgrades. In this post, we offer a quick recap of the new IBM releases in 2019, along with the outlook for 2020.  Before we dive into the updates, here’s a quick refresher on POWER9: New chips come with a 14 nm process (from 22 nm in POWER8 ), 8 billion transistors and peak bandwidth of 192 GB/s. The pipeline got a trim: 5 stages were eliminated from fetch to compute; 8 cycles were removed for floating-point operations. New hardware acceleration that includes enhanced on-chip acceleration, PowerAXON, Nvidia NVLink 2.0 and CAPI 2.0 Support for Power ISA v3.0. DDR4 DIMMs memory and higher memory capacity per socket.  Check our head to head comparison of POWER8 vs POWER9 for more insights. Key POWER9 Upgrades and Releases in 2019 As usual, IBM made a set of new feature announcements and hardware releases during spring/autumn 2019. Below is a brief recap of those: In August, the company released a new generation of mainstream SAS 2.5- inch flash drives POWER8 and POWER9 systems that come in 931 GB, 1.86 TB, 3.72 TB, and 7.45 TB capacities*. At the same time, they shipped an upgraded processor for the POWER E980 model, consisting of a six-core Cumulus process with a base speed of 3.58 GHz and a turbo speed of 3.9 GHz. Later in October, a new generation of SSD drives for POWER8 and POWER9 models was released in 387 GB, 775 GB, and 1550 GB capacities. As well, they upgraded the POWER S924 model to support 11-core or 22-core typical 3.45 - 3.9 GHz configurations in a 19-inch rack-mount. ( Read more about IBM Solid State Drives Here) In addition, IBM published fresh performance benchmarks showcasing how POWER9 servers stack against earlier POWER8 releases. In short, newer servers can deliver up to 60% in a performance boost. Last, but not least, comes the IBM i 7.4's first Technology Refresh update since its original release. As per official notes: IBM i now...
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IBM POWER8 vs. POWER9 Comparison for 2020

IBM POWER8 vs. POWER9 Comparison for 2020
IBM POWER8 vs. POWER9 - A Comparative Analysis for 2020 Hardware upgrades – always a tough call. Should you invest in a new POWER server if your workloads are running just fine on an earlier model? Perhaps, as the new POWER9 servers received a major performance boost thanks to improved hardware, memory, and enhanced on-chip acceleration. In this post, we’ll show exactly how POWER9 compares to POWER8 in terms of memory, CPU, TCO and overall performance. Let’s dive in! POWER8 vs POWER9: Tech Specifications and Main Improvements POWER9 with comes loads of new hardware. Some are enterprise-grade, other are more focused on small to mid-range applications. The latter include Power9 models S922 , S914 , and S924 as well as Linux and SAP Hana specialized variants, the L922, L924, H922, and H924. Every new model comes equipped with robust POWER9 processors: Source: IBM Here’s a quick comparison chart further illustrating how POWER9 hardware stacks against POWER8 and POWER7: Arguably, the biggest advantage of a new POWER9 server over POWER8 is the new hardware acceleration platform consisting of the following: Enhanced on-chip acceleration – Gzip x1, 842 Compression x2, AES/SHA x2. PowerAXON – a collection of high-speed I/O interconnects operating at a signaling rate of 25 GT/s. The AXON stands for A-bus, X-bus, OpenCAPI, and NVLink. Nvidia NVLink 2.0 – the upgraded lane can communicate at 25Gbps in the first iteration. CAPI 2.0 – can help achieve four times the bandwidth of POWER8 in combination with PCIe Gen 4. Secondly, IBM gave POWER9 pipeline a trim and reduced it to 12-stages: 5 stages were removed from fetch to compute, and from fixed-point operations. IBM eliminated instruction grouping at dispatch. Hazard avoidance and reduced hazard disruption received an upgrade. So what do all of these hardware upgrades mean in terms of performance and stability? Here are a few quick TLDs before we dive into the specs: Compared to POWER8, POWER9 has 1.5x better performance and 2x more memory. POWER9 comes with 1.8x more memory bandwidth per socket and up to 57% lower solution cost. In general, IBM state-of-the-art servers are 18x times more reliable than...
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POWER9: Main changes and updates Vs POWER8 (2019)

POWER9: Main changes and updates Vs POWER8 (2019)
A newer Article is now available to read: IBM POWER8 vs. POWER9 - A Comparative Analysis for 2020 POWER9 is here , and with it comes loads of new hardware. With the second batch of released hardware there are several new systems that are focused on small and mid-range applications. These include Power9 models  S922 , S914 , and S924 as well as...
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The Big Difference Between Power9's Industry Standard Memory vs Buffered Memory

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POWER9 Memory changes and what it means. Our last article was about the primary changes made to the POWER Systems, scale out line up with the release of the first set of POWER9  (You can view some of the POWER9 benchmarks here ) servers back in February. We briefly covered several of the changes including the change made to the type ...
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