IBM Breaks 1,000 MIPS Barrier

S/390 G5 Server Customers First To Receive Industry's Fastest General Purpose System

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FISHKILL, N.Y - 28 Jul 1998: -- IBM today announced that its S/390 G5 Parallel Enterprise Server smashed the 1,000 MIPS barrier in recent testing making it the industry's first available mainframe server to offer more than 1,000 MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) performance in a single system. This industry-leading level of performance --- 1,040 MIPS delivered by the S/390 G5 Server 10-way Turbo model -- could be available more than a year ahead of systems offered by IBM's competitors.

When announced May 7, the S/390 G5 Server was expected to offer more than 900 MIPS when configured with 10 processors. However, flexibility built into the high frequency microprocessor core design allowed IBM to exploit recent chip manufacturing enhancements. This provided a 15 percent boost to the already high level of performance expected from the G5 system.

"The G5 Server's performance ends the debate and discussion about who offers the most mainframe-class performance," said David Carlucci, general manager, IBM S/390 Division. "Customers who need a very large single system can now choose the S/390 G5 Server for outstanding scalability, reliability and security.

"Our customers expect and demand technology leadership from IBM," added Carlucci, "and the G5 delivers in a big way."

At the same time, IBM announced it was expanding the high end of the S/390 G5 Server family with two additional models to provide a more graduated model lineup.

Unlike faster but highly specialized, single-purpose supercomputers, the S/390 G5 is a general purpose, enterprise business computer that can support many thousands of users performing mixed workloads -- a variety of tasks at the same time -- from e-mail to e-commerce, to database searches and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications.

Technology Leadership in Design and Manufacturing

The S/390 G5 Server's breakthrough performance showcases IBM's prowess in microprocessor design and manufacturing. Its power comes from a system design that synergistically combines advanced chip technology, high frequency chip design, high internal memory bandwidth and leadership manufacturing process.

"IBM chip engineers developed improved manufacturing techniques and controls to achieve higher overall processor performance," said Michael J. Attardo, general manager, IBM Microelectronics Division. "As a result, each production run features a greater number of high performance processors."

The CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) technology-based S/390 microprocessor, designed by IBM's S/390, Microelectronics and Research divisions, is the industry's fastest CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) microprocessor, running at 500 MHz (megahertz). It sets an industry record with more than 25 million transistors.

The S/390 G5 Server processor complex also sets high marks by delivering internal memory bandwidth that exceeds 15 GB (gigabytes or billion bytes) per second and includes 8 MB (megabytes) of Level 2 cache memory packaged in chips containing an industry-leading 60 million transistors. This advanced technology, coupled with a memory design that allows for a very high level of concurrent storage operations,
contributes significantly to overall performance by speeding data flow and internal system management.

IBM was the first mainframe-class system manufacturer to offer customers more than 1,000 MIPS performance capacity in a single-image system through its innovative Parallel Sysplex clustering technology. The IBM-developed Parallel Sysplex clustering technology can harness the power of up to 32 S/390 systems to provide almost 30,000 MIPS while functioning as a single system.

With today's announcement, IBM has again raised the performance bar by breaking the 1,000-MIPS barrier for a single system. Now IBM's S/390 can meet the needs of an even wider range of customers -- from those who need a large single system to customers whose growing businesses demand the ultimate in scalability -- Parallel Sysplex.

The S/390 G5 Servers will ship in volume in late August.

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S/390 and Parallel Sysplex are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.