IBM today announced that it has developed a computer chip that has a record-breaking clock speed of 5.2 GHz. The chip — dubbed z196 processor — is going to be used in a new IBM mainframe system, the zEnterprise 196. IBM developed the chip for big honking computers whose primary job is to crunch copious amounts of data, especially for banks and retailers who are seeing a big shift in their business with the rise of mobile.
The new chip, which packs 1.4 billion transistors on a 512-square millimeter surface, combines dense caches of embedded DRAM with high-speed microprocessors. All that power will help enterprises consume and make sense of the data generated by the increased and continuous digitization of our society. The data deluge has become so huge that everyone is trying to think of ways to tame it it. Others, like Lyric Semiconductor, a startup making probability-based processors, are looking for a something other than brute force.
Yesterday, Hewlett Packard announced it will be making a new kind of memory chips in partnership with Hynix. These Memristor memory chips are seen as inheritors to the Flash memory and DRAM memory. While it will show up in our smartphones and laptops soon enough, it’s a type of memory that operates in fashion similar to biological synapses in the human brain. Large data crunching computers (much like our brain) can certainly use these chips.
From software to server systems to core chips, big data is the big opportunity.
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