IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015 - (Page 42)

TECH CORNER What Makes a MODERN MICROPROCESSOR? New IBM z13 chip improves throughput and analytics performance I n April 2014, the IBM mainframe celebrated its 50th anniversary, showcasing a computing platform that continues to reinvent itself by incorporating new technologies and capabilities. To continue that tradition, the newest mainframe, IBM z13*, was announced in January, signifying a new generation of machines that will continue for the next 50 years. C. Kevin Shum is a Distinguished Engineer in IBM Systems working in the development of z Systems microprocessors. Brian Curran is a Distinguished Engineer in IBM Systems working in the development of z Systems microprocessors. Eric Schwarz is a Distinguished Engineer in IBM Systems working in the development of z Systems microprocessors. The z13 system includes many new features and innovations to help clients with computing tasks related to cloud, mobile, analytics and security. It features a new microprocessor chip that is manufactured with IBM's 22 nanometer Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology, allowing close to 4 billion transistors on chip, nearly 45 percent more than its predecessor, the IBM zEnterprise* EC12 (zEC12). This higher density technology enables 100 percent more level 2 (L2) and 30 percent more level 3 (L3) caches on chip. The shared 64 MB of on-chip L3 caches is shared among up to 10 microprocessor cores, two more than zEC12, allowing up to 141 configurable cores within the system. Each core is extensively re-engineered to provide 42 // MAY/JUNE 2015 traditional performance gains and new capabilities. Here, we will discuss two of the major features introduced in z13: simultaneous multithreading (SMT) that drastically improves overall computing throughput with minimal increase in power consumption, and a single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) instruction set architecture that significantly enhances analytics analysis performance. SMT for Efficiency The z13 core supports up to two software threads running simultaneously within its processing pipeline, commonly known as two-way multithreading (SMT2). Modern processor cores are superscalar, meaning multiple stations at any pipeline stage perform similar tasks. For example, in z13 up to 10 instructions can be issued to the 14 different execution units. Often, a single program thread is not able to make use of the available processing capacity, likely due to instruction dependencies (e.g., waiting for a divide operation that might take six cycles) or cache misses (where the data is located more than 40 cycles away in the L3 cache). Another thread running concurrently allows the processor to work on one thread's instructions while another thread is stalled. The z13 core alternates between and mixes up the instruction processing requirements between the two threads, achieving high throughput gain by sharing and managing its "spare" capacities efficiently.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015

Table of Contents
IBM Perspective: A mainframe built for Generation Z
Editor's Desk: Optimistic future
Partner PoV: Now is the time for multifactor authentication
Infographic: Myths, exaggerations and uncomfortable truths
Currents: TCO for an IBM z13 cloud is lower than an x86 or public cloud, according to an IBM study
R&D: IBM Research is working to better diagnose osteoporosis -- and make computing more economical
Cover Story: Mastering the Mainframe: IBM contest connects millennials to the mainframe and potential employers
Feature: The Millennial Career Guidebook: Six groups and resources to help mainframers starting their careers
Feature: Mainframe Within Reach: IBM provides a rich set of solutions designed to help new mainframe programmers
Tech Showcase: IBM X-Force report reveals challenges and strategies to succeed in the new computing environment
Tech Corner: New IBM z13 chip improves throughput and analytics performance
Solutions: ReACT V4.0; Ivory Service Architect V4.6
Stop Run: Running and fencing keep IBMer active
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
2015 Mainframe Solutions Edition Product Index
Linux on z E-book

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - May/June 2015