IBM revs cell blade, QS22

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IBM has revved its Cell-based blade again, following an update to the QS21 last August (and which the company will continue to sell).

The QS22 uses the PowerXCell 8i variant of the Cell processor, which has mods for double precision math and up to 16 times the memory of the previous version.

From Ashlee Vance’s coverage at The Register

The QS22 ships with a pair of Cell chips and up to 8 DIMM slots, depending on the model. Customers will also find a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports and options for InfiniBand connections. The system has no internal hard drives, although an 8GB flash drive will be available in the second half of the year.

Additional coverage at EE Times provides more details on the specific changes

The new chip uses 65nm process technology to reduce the power consumption of the previous 90nm chip while maintaining the same 3.2 GHz frequency. That allows IBM to get two of the chips on to a single board while keeping board-level power consumption under 250 W required by IBM’s BladeCenter servers.

The claim is that this chip is quite a bit faster on business workloads that might make the Cell platform more attractive to a bigger (busines) audience. From coverage at Australian Computerworld

“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.”

The new blade will start shipping in June.