IBM says that shipping a 5.2 GHz chip in its latest line of mainframe systems has been necessitated by the huge demand for data processing in areas such as banking and retailing. The company's latest zEnterprise systems are IBM's answer to managing the huge workloads being created as the world becomes increasingly inter-connected and business transactions continue to skyrocket.
According to a study by Berg Insight, the number of active users of mobile banking and related financial services worldwide is forecasted to increase from 55 million in 2009 to 894 million in 2015.
IBM asserts that its latest workload-optimized systems combine microprocessors, software and hardware to deliver the computing power that today's programmers are helping to create the demand for.
The z196 processor is a four-core chip that contains 1.4 billion transistors on a 512-square millimeter (mm) surface. From a performance standpoint, the zEnterprise System is the most powerful commercial IBM system ever. The core server in the zEnterprise System, called "zEnterprise 196," contains 96 of the world's fastest microprocessors, capable of executing more than 50 billion instructions per second.
This new IBM microprocessor technology has new software to optimize performance of data-heavy workloads, including what is alleged to be up to a 60% improvement in data intensive workloads. IBM argues that increased levels of system performance, in turn, increase software performance, which can reduce software license costs.