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IBM Touts AI Credentials Of New POWER9 Server

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Developers can build AI applications quicker thanks to new and more powerful big iron from IBM

IBM has unveiled what it claims is the industry’s most advanced server designed for Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Power Systems Server with the firm’s new POWER9 processor.

It comes as interest in artificial intelligence grows, and IBM regards the technology as one of its key growth drivers in the years ahead.

IBM

 

POWER9 Server

IBM says  POWER9 is capable of improving the training times of deep learning frameworks by nearly four times, allowing enterprises to build more accurate AI applications, at a faster rate.

POWER9-based AC922 Power Systems are the first to use PCI-Express 4.0, as well as next-generation NVIDIA NVLink and OpenCAPI. When these are combined IBM claims the new iron can accelerate data movement, calculated at 9.5x faster than PCI-E 3.0 based x86 systems.

According to Big Blue, the system was designed to offer performance improvements across popular AI frameworks such as Chainer, TensorFlow and Caffe, as well as accelerated databases such as Kinetica.

This means, IBM says, that data scientists can build applications faster. Indeed, it cited the fact that the POWER9 is at the heart of the soon-to-be most powerful data-intensive supercomputers in the world, the US Department of Energy’s “Summit”and “Sierra” supercomputers.

Google is of course also acquiring the new iron for its own data centres.

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

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

“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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AI Development

IBM has been focusing on the world of artificial intelligence for a while now. IBM Watson for example has been busy providing artificial intelligence (AI) to the cyber security industry and will be combined with Einstein, Salesforce’s own AI system.

In July IBM revealed it had already delivered the ‘first cognitive services platform’ to help businesses obtain operational insights from growing amount of unstructured data.IBM said that the first IBM Watson-based services platform had been fully built on the IBM Cloud.

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