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IBM unveils POWER9 servers designed for Artificial Intelligence

The new POWER9-based AC922 power systems are the first to embed PCI-Express 4.0, next-generation NVIDIA NVLink and OpenCAPI

ANI  |  New Delhi 

IBM
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American Tech MNC on Friday unveiled its next-generation power systems servers incorporating its newly-designed POWER9 processor.

Built specifically for compute-intensive AI workloads, the new POWER9 systems are capable of improving the training times of deep learning frameworks by nearly four times allowing enterprises to build more accurate AI applications, and faster.

The new POWER9-based AC922 power systems are the first to embed PCI-Express 4.0, next-generation NVIDIA NVLink and OpenCAPI, which combined can accelerate data movement, calculated at 9.5 times faster than PCI-E 3.0 based x86 systems.

"The new Power Systems Servers with POWER9 processor will be a game-changer for AI and deep learning workloads. The new processor delivers on unprecedented cognitive capabilities and can help Indian enterprises across all verticals to transform and up-scale on their AI and machine learning journey," said Viswanath Ramaswamy, Director - Systems (India/South Asia).

"The new server (AC22) improves training time of deep learning frameworks by four times (vs x86), in turn delivering 10 times faster performance bandwidth acceleration. This is the only platform with NVIDIA NVLink, PCI Express 4.0 and OpenCapi giving breakthrough acceleration for modern AI, high performance computing and accelerated database workloads," he added.

The era of AI demands more than tremendous processing power and unprecedented speed; it also demands an open ecosystem of innovative companies delivering technologies and tools.

The system was designed to drive demonstrable performance improvements across popular AI frameworks such as Chainer, TensorFlow and Caffe, as well as accelerated databases such as Kinetica. As a result, data scientists can build applications faster, ranging from deep learning insights in scientific research, real-time fraud detection and credit risk analysis.

POWER9 is at the heart of the soon-to-be most powerful data-intensive supercomputers in the world, the U.S. Department of Energy's "Summit" and "Sierra" supercomputers, and has been tapped by Google.

"Google is excited about IBM's progress in the development of the latest POWER The POWER9 OpenCAPI Bus and large memory capabilities allow for further opportunities for innovation in Google data centers," said Bart Sano, VP of Google Platforms.

Deep learning is a fast growing machine learning method that extracts information by crunching through millions of processes and data to detect and rank the most important aspects of the data.

To meet these growing industry demands, four years ago set out to design the POWER9 chip on a blank sheet to build a new architecture to manage free-flowing data, streaming sensors and algorithms for data-intensive AI and deep learning workloads on Linux.

First Published: Fri, December 08 2017. 15:28 IST
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