Such cognitive computing systems rely heavily on IBM's software assets, which help process natural language and parse through swathes of unstructured data such as that created by sensors and mobile devices.
Right now Watson's benefits are being seen in healthcare, but its usage could expand to manufacturing and retail as well, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
Google has also shown an interest in Power architecture, said Richard Dougherty, founder of analyst firm Envisioneering Group. While its large-scale data centers run mostly off x86-based systems, Google has also designed a Power server board.
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