IBM Details Fastest Processor Ever, You Can't Have It

Ryan Whitwam

IBM recently revealed some details of its new 5.2GHz microprocessor chip , but consumers shouldn't bother saving their pennies to get one. The z196, which will be at the heart of the company's new Z-series mainframes, will be an enterprise-only product. Even if you could convince them to sell you a mainframe, it would likely break the bank at around $1 million.

The z196 is using the CISC instructions set and packs 1.4 billion transistors onto a 512 square mm die. The z196 will have 64 Kbyte L1 instruction cache, 128-Kbyte L1 data cache, and 1.5-Mbyte L2 cache on each core. How many cores are we talking about in one mainframe? Oh, only up to 96 of them, that's all.

These new super-chips will be capable of running multiple operating systems on the mainframe in any combination, including z/OS, z/VM, z/VSE, Linux on System z , and z/TPF. In some ways, IBM is doing us a favor by keeping this chip out of the reach of the common geek. It may be too much computing power for any mere mortal to handle.

Around the web