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IBM release Z196 5.2ghz processor – fastest single CPU in world

IBM, creator of the excellent Cell Processor in the Sony Playstation 3 have released details on their newest creation, the fastest single CPU in the world, clocked at a whopping 5.2ghz.

The Z196 was announced at the Hot Chip conference this week and is designed to be used in the companies Z series mainframes, not aimed at the consumer market – well unless you have several hundred thousand burning a hole in your pocket.

The processor is a CISC design with RISC elements based on a 45nm PD SOI process and it features a 64kb level 1 instruction cache, a 128kb L1 data cache and 1.5MB of Level 2 cache per core. L3 cache is catered for with a very sexy 24MB of L3 eDRAM and IBM are offering a 196MB of shared L4 cache if you want it. To further enhance the peformance levels, IBM have fitted a pair of cyptographic co-processors to the design which allows the Z196 to carry out encryption and decryption without loading the main cores.

These processors can be fitted to a Multi Chip Module, or MCM as well as a storage control chip, which caters for communication between the modules. Each of these modules features six Z196 processors and up to 24 active processing cores. Four of these modules can be fitted to each mainframe which is going to deliver a serious amount of processor power to any given task.

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