IBM introduced the zEnterprise EC12, a new mainframe with the company's new hexa-core 5.5GHz PowerPC processor. Full details at Bit Tech.
An application-tuned out-of-order superscalar chip, the unnamed zEC12 processor includes some serious technology beyond its eyebrow-raising stock clock speed. Perhaps its biggest improvement over IBM's previous processors - and those from competing companies - is support for transactional execution, a system which treats system resources in a similar manner to a transactional database system to eliminate the overhead of software locking systems.
Although this requires software support - with IBM declaring that it will be adding support for the transactional execution facility of the new chip in an upcoming update to its Java runtime environment - it promises to seriously improve the efficiency of many-core systems. With the top-end zEC12 system packing a whopping 120 cores, that's something which is key to keeping things ticking over.