IBM launched the successor to their Power line-up of processors today. The new one is the Power7. Capable of handling 4 threads, and coming in 4,6, or 8 core designs, these powerful chips will be finding their way into systems that need an abundance of parallel processing power. Managing electric grids and analyzing financial transactions seem to be some likely first stops for these new breed of chips.
Made with a 45nm manufacturing process, and with clock speeds a touch over 4 GHz, these processors will also be finding their way into server racks. Each of the high-end chips are thought to be capable of around 258 GFLOPS of peak performance.
Some of the new Power7-powered series include the Power 780, a scalable high-end server system with a modular design that supports up to 64 Power7 cores, the Power 770, which is a lower-energy midrange offering, and the Power 755 computing cluster node utilizing 32 Power7 cores.
The development of the Power7 processor was helped in part by the nexus of the United States' advanced military technology, the DARPA organization, who sponsored some of the development costs of the Power7 for the High Productivity Computing Systems program, which aims to bring new petaflop-capable, lower-cost computing technologies into the private and military sectors of industry.