IBM Schedules Power Systems Event For April 28
April 14, 2014 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The cat is officially out of the bag. IBM is hosting a big launch event on April 28 and it is all about Power Systems. Well, and Watson and big data and analytics and the manufacturing operations at IBM Microelectronics, from the looks of the agenda. So it may be the long wait for Power8-based systems is finally over.
You can register for the online event at this link, and at the moment as we prepare to go to press, the specific time of the launch has not yet been announced for that Monday.
The agenda for the launch event doesn’t specifically say it is for the Power8 chip and its initial systems, but the odds are 1 zillion to one in favor of the Power8 chip having a prominent role in what IBM discusses on the webcast. From the lineup, which includes Rob High, who is chief technology officer of the new Watson Group that IBM set up this year, as well as representatives from MD Anderson Cancer Center and MD Buyline, it stands to reason that the medical use of Power8 systems running the Watson question-answer software stack tuned up for the medical field will be a big topic of conversation.
Doug Balog, general manager of the Power Systems division within IBM’s System and Technology Group will be hosting the event, and Bob Picciano, senior vice president of the Information and Analytics Group, will also be making a presentation. Interestingly, so will Arvind Krishna, who is general manager of development and manufacturing within STG. Ian Buck, vice president of accelerated computing at graphics chip and GPU coprocessor maker Nvidia will also participate, and the two will no doubt talk about the future plan to weld Power CPUs and Nvidia Tesla GPU accelerators into a powerful hybrid computing platform. (You can read about the future Nvidia NVLink clustering technology at this link over at my other job at EnterpriseTech, and this other story will tell you about early experimental results IBM has in running parallel Java routines on GPUs.)
The concept behind the webcast is “open innovation to put data to work,” and that doesn’t sound exactly like a specific set of product announcements. The wording is interesting here, as IBM asks customers to join to “learn how IBM Power Systems’ first generation servers and solutions break the physical and virtual boundaries of data center in ways never before possible.”
I guess IBM is making a break with the past now that it has launched the OpenPower Foundation, which includes Nvidia, network adapter and switch maker Mellanox Technologies, Chinese chip maker Suzhou PowerCore, memory makers Micron Technology, SK Hynix, and Samsung Electronics, motherboard maker Tyan, flash card maker Fusion-io, and FPGA makers Altera and Xilinx. So these will be the first generation of a new style of Power Systems. (Maybe that will mean yet more rebranding, or maybe they will just slap the OpenPower brand on the new machines?)
“Designed with open innovation to drive faster insights from data-hungry applications, these first generation systems help organizations realize the benefits of cloud and quickly tap into an open ecosystem of community-created innovation that is transforming the way IT is created and consumed,” IBM continues.
Yup. That’s my guess alright.