IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 42

Tech Corner
RAM arrays (SRAMs). SRAM cache requires several transistors for each bit. In contrast, main memory is usually built using dynamic RAM arrays (DRAMs). DRAMs use a single transistor and tiny capacitor to store each bit, and can be more dense than SRAMs with only a small penalty in access latency. The challenges of combining the different manufacturing process steps for DRAM and high-performance logic kept DRAM on separate memory chips for many years. That changed when IBM introduced embedded DRAM (eDRAM) in the 45 nm SOI process. Deeptrench technology carves capacitors into SOI wafers, enabling designers to combine dense DRAM caches with high-speed logic. The triple increase in cache capacity for the same silicon footprint yields improved system performance, especially for datarich workloads commonly found in mainframe shops. In the z196, eDRAM is used for L3 and L4 caches. The L3 cache puts 24 MB on the central processor (CP) chip, shared by all four cores. The L4 cache is on storage control (SC) chips, two of which provide a 192 MB cache shared by the six processor chips on one book. These huge caches handle the large working sets of today’s applications. eDRAM caches use less power than SRAM caches of the same size, allowing designers to allocate more power to other parts of the chip to increase performance or add functions. The deep-trench process can also be used to construct highly efficient decoupling capacitors on processor chips to smooth powersupply variations, enabling higher performance without compromising reliability. z196 GCMCMs pack six fourcore CP chips and two SC chips into a 96-by-96-mm area. The longest wire connecting two chips is a mere 58 millimeters. Because distance equals time, keeping these wires short is crucial to performance. The CP and SC chips have more than 1,100 and 1,800 interchip signal pins, respectively, and each has more than 7,000 pins to supply power. In excess of 200 meters of wire connect these chips to each other and to the 3,500 module connections that carry signals to and from the rest of the system.

3

4 Chip Innovations

Deep inside the zEnterprise 196, IBM hardware technologies form the foundation for leading-edge system design. Four of these innovations include: 1 IBM’s silicon-on-insulator chip process 2 Dynamic RAM caches embedded in processor chips 3 Glass-ceramic multichip modules 4 Elastic interfaces for ultrahighspeed interchip communication

Glass-Ceramic Multichip Module One System z hallmark is its ability to scale up to large multiprocessor systems. Whether for large online transaction processing (OLTP) systems, mixed enterprise z/OS* workloads, or consolidating multiple systems using PR/SM* and z/VM*, many processors must share memory and exchange data with low latency and high bandwidth. This requires chip packaging and interconnection technology allowing processor chips and shared caches to be nested closely together while supporting many signals and connections. IBM’s glass-ceramic multichip module (GCMCM) fits these requirements perfectly. It supports dense connection arrays under the chip, and can be built with as many layers as are needed to route wires between chips. This substrate is a great insulator, yielding very good electrical characteristics, along with thermo-mechanical properties well matched with silicon, simplifying dense packaging for high-power chips.

Elastic Interface All of those bits need to get where they’re going quickly, and those comprising one chunk of information, such as an address, a command or a word of data, must arrive together. This can be a challenge when operating at frequencies so high that multiple chunks of information are sent before the first arrives. Differences in wire lengths and signal speed due to physical material variations lead to varying propagation times. To top it off, because source driver circuits and destination receiver circuits are on different chips, it’s impractical to keep them on the same clock grid in the same way different parts of one chip are kept in sync. IBM’s solution is the elastic interface, which is now in its third generation (EI3). Buffers in the receivers form programmable delay lines for each bit. During initialization, drivers send a test pattern; receivers find starting and ending timing points for valid data in the delay lines, and set sampling points within these windows. Special circuitry adjusts reference input voltages to account for variations in wire resistance. Extra bits are built into each interface, so that if a

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22 42

MARCH/APRIL 2012

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IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012
Table of Contents
Editor’s Desk: Rethinking System z
IBM Perspective: Smarter Computing, Enterprise Modernization and the Mainframe
Insider: Proper Tools Can Bring Flexibility to Application Development
IT Today: Six Things You Didn't Know About the Modern Mainframe
Trends: Seven Reasons IT Projects Fail
Cover Story: Agile Thinking: How to leverage existing technology to gain a competitive advantage
Features: All Together Now: A centralized business analytics environment delivers great value
Improving Upon the Gold Standard: System z pushes the limits of high availability
Tech Corner: Processor Design Innovations Empower the z196
Developer: Accurate Project Scoping Helps Map Out a Faster Route to Success
Solutions/Advertiser's Index: PASSPORT Host Integration Objects - LegaSuite 6
Stop Run: Mainframer Clarence Golson Reflects on a Diverse Career Built on a Single Platform
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Intro
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Table of Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Editor’s Desk: Rethinking System z
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - IBM Perspective: Smarter Computing, Enterprise Modernization and the Mainframe
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - I1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - I2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - I3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - I4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Insider: Proper Tools Can Bring Flexibility to Application Development
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 12
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - IT Today: Six Things You Didn't Know About the Modern Mainframe
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 16
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Trends: Seven Reasons IT Projects Fail
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 22
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Cover Story: Agile Thinking: How to leverage existing technology to gain a competitive advantage
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 26
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 28
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Features: All Together Now: A centralized business analytics environment delivers great value
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 32
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Improving Upon the Gold Standard: System z pushes the limits of high availability
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 36
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 37
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 38
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Tech Corner: Processor Design Innovations Empower the z196
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - V1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - V2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 41
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 42
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 43
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Developer: Accurate Project Scoping Helps Map Out a Faster Route to Success
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 45
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - 46
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Solutions/Advertiser's Index: PASSPORT Host Integration Objects - LegaSuite 6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Stop Run: Mainframer Clarence Golson Reflects on a Diverse Career Built on a Single Platform
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - RF1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - BG1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - March/April 2012 - BG2
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