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IBM and Oracle present rival chips for 'big iron' servers

James Niccolai | Sept. 3, 2012
IBM and Oracle shared more details this week about new RISC chips they're building for server customers, the Power7+ in the case of IBM and the T5 for Oracle.

One of Oracle's goals for the T5 was to put the chips in as many as eight sockets per server with "close to linear scaling," Oracle's Sebastian Turullols said at Hot Chips.

"There are eight-socket systems you can buy that deliver the equivalent of perhaps only five single sockets," he said. That's partly because it's "a hard problem to solve," he said, and also because some chip vendors optimize their designs to be used in four-socket systems. Oracle says customers who use the T5 in an eight-socket system will get close to the performance of eight processors.

The T5 also adds several features to accelerate clustering, which is important for the big machines Oracle has chosen to focus on, such as its Sparc SuperCluster. And the T5 includes accelerator units for an "unprecedented" 16 encryption algorithms, Turullols said, as well as a random number generator.

Oracle hasn't said when the T5 will ship, though it's not expected before the end of the year.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

 

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