New IBM blade billed as supercomputer for the average IT Joe

New Cell chip said to boost performance by 5 times compared to previous blade servers

IBM Tuesday unveiled a new blade server based on the Cell chip that was originally designed to run a video game console.

The IBM BladeCenter QS22 runs the new PowerXCell 8i chip, a souped up version of the Cell processor jointly developed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba to run large computations on the Playstation 3 video game system. Instead of running operating systems, the Cell chip takes on massive calculations, making it well-suited for video games or supercomputing tasks.

The updated Cell chip has 16 times more memory and is five times faster than the original, IBM said.

"The new Cell chip is up to 20 times faster on some common financial calculations than Intel's quad-cores," said Dan Olds, an analyst with the Gabriel Consulting Group. "The real advantage is being able to run a lot of workloads a lot faster than you thought possible. It could potentially be a game changer for some companies."

Olds added that the new system will let IT managers run projects in house using much less hardware. "If you're currently using 20 Intel- or AMD-based systems, you could replace that with one of these blades," he added. "Think of the difference."

While IBM has used Cell blades in the new Roadrunner supercomputer that they're building for Los Alamos National Laboratory now, this is the first time they'll be selling them for more than research applications.

The Cell-based blades are largely expected to give Roadrunner enough of a power boost to enable it to bypass the petaflop barrier when it's fully tested later this month.

The QS22 blade is designed to work in supercomputers or in a large corporate data center, according to Olds. It can be used on its own or along side other blades, like those based on AMD and Intel processors.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Secure and Save before time runs out with Bitdefender Exclusive Clearance Offer! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?