IBM: The Company Will Telum Like It Could Be

August 25, 2021

I read “The Other IBM Big Iron That Is On The Horizon.” The write up mentions that the Telum processor is for System z mainframes. The outfit making the chip is … Samsung.

I also noted “IBM Unveils New Chip Designed to Detect Fraud with AI.” The article explains:

The chip is built to enable applications to run efficiently where the data resides, helping to overcome traditional enterprise AI approaches that tend to require significant memory and data movement capabilities. Telum’s on-chip acceleration is capable of running AI models during a transaction. This improves fraud detection in industries that hold valuable customer and business information.

The “is built” is interesting because the “IBM Big Iron” article makes this point:

We happen to think IBM had hoped to be able to ship the Telum processors and their System z16 machines before the end of 2021 and the transition from 10 nanometer to 7 nanometer processes at former foundry partner GlobalFoundries to 7 nanometer processes at current foundry partner Samsung has delayed the z16 introduction from its usual cadence. As it stands, the z16 chip will come out in early 2022, after the Power10 chips with fat cores (meaning eight threads per core and only 15 cores per chip) come to market. The skinny Power10 cores (four threads per core but 30 cores on a die) used in so-called “scale out” systems are not expected until the second quarter of 2022. It is rough to change foundries and processes and microarchitectures all at the same time, so a delay from the original plan for both z16 and Power10 are to be expected.

An AI chip. Really good at fraud detection. Requires a System z mainframe. Shipping in the future, maybe next year.

The new IBM outsources. The new IBM pre-announces. But what’s interesting is that as tasty as the descriptions are, the platform requires the “old” IBM; that is, a mainframe. Interesting because neither write up mentions Watson.

Stephen E Arnold, August 25, 2021


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