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IBM unveils ‘game-changing powerhouse’ for AI

Could POWER9 be the processor to really put AI in the driving seat for the future and beyond?

By April Slattery

As the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning continues to grow, IBM has taken a further step forward with a new processor built specifically for such workloads.

IBM has announced its latest chip, POWER9, that has been built specifically for compute-intensive AI workloads.

POWER9 has the ability to improve the training times of deep learning frameworks by almost four times faster and allows enterprises to build more accurate applications at a much faster rate.

The system was designed to drive demonstrable performance improvements across AI frameworks TensorFlow and Caffe, as well as databases such as Kinetica.

IBM unveils ‘game changing powerhouse’ for AI

The latest creation quickens application development & operations.

As a result of the better performance, data scientists are able to build applications faster, from deep learning insights across scientific research to real-time fraud detection and credit risk analysis.

“We’ve built a game-changing powerhouse for AI and cognitive workloads,” said Bob Picciano, SVP of IBM Cognitive Systems.

IBM’s latest creation has been revealed at a time of huge advancement and digital development across AI, machine learning and analytics and is somewhat a taste of what is to come, preparing for the supercomputers of the future.

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The likes of Google and the US Department of Energy have already taken an interest in Big Blue’s POWER technology, pitched by the tech giant as sitting at the heart of the ‘soon-to-be most powerful data-intensive supercomputers in the world’.

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

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The POWER9 creation is the second big computing milestone reached by IBM this year already. Just a month ago IBM set the record in the quantum computing market, releasing a 50-qubit quantum computer that is being used in the next generation IBM Q systems.

Sano said: “In addition to arming the world’s most powerful supercomputers, IBM POWER9 Systems is designed to enable enterprises around the world to scale unprecedented insights, driving scientific discovery enabling transformational business outcomes across every industry.”

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