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Aug 30, 2012

IBM 5.5 GHz CPU with 48 MB L3 Cache and 20 Billion Transistors




Computing giant IBM once again proved it is the most advanced semiconductor, server and processor manufacturer in the world and launched the fastest and, probably, the most complex CPU in the world today.

IBM has just announced the new zEnterprise EC12 server mainframe that took $1 billion to develop. The most interesting aspect about the new servers is the new zEC12 processor. This is actually a multi-chip module (MCM) containing six processing units (PU) that run at an amazing 5500 MHz and two storage controllers, each featuring 3.3 billion transistors. The PUs are designed with single-threaded performance in mind, and thus, we have the amazingly high frequency.

There are 6 processing units (PUs) on the z12 along with two storage controllers with their own level 4 cache. Each PU has 2.7 billion transistors, which means that the whole MCM has around 20 billion transistors in total. The six PUs on the z12 processors from IBM have a huge 48 MB L3 cache, but the storage controllers have even more cache available.

IBM's old Power 5 MCM Processor Module
Image credits to berkeley.edu

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