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.