Entry-level and mid-range Power10 machines coming in July


May 3, 2022

Timothy Pricket Morgan

If an IT vendor never gives a specific date for a product launch – and there are many who don’t – then they can never be officially accused of shipping something late when the delivery date slip. But in the age of coronavirus, all sorts of things are shipping later than expected and one of them is Power Systems’ entry-level servers based on the Power10 processor. The other is the mid-range Power Systems machine based on the Power10.

During a pre-briefing with Steve Sibley, Vice President and Global Offering Leader for Power Systems, to review the new IBM i 7.5 and Merlin Application Modernization Tool being announced today, we pointed out that we were a little surprised there weren’t any new servers as part of Power Systems’ announcements.

The high-end Power E1080 “Denali” server using the Power10 chip was launched last September and shipped gradually with increasingly larger systems in late 2021 and fully ramped up in early 2022 , as expected. And as far as we know, entry and mid-range servers were expected at an event around the POWERUp 2022 event in New Orleans later this month, and maybe even a a little earlier in fact, although IBM never officially identified it. He did, however, say this to resellers and partners following the launch of the Power E1080 last year:

I fully realize that the above statement is a planning document, not a promise. But if you look at this table and then read the sentence in the notes that says the Power E1080 will be “in the market for more than 6 months before” the mid-range and entry-level machines come out, the low-end from this announcement specter for the rest Power10 machines start in March 2022 and go out to infinity.

Prior to our call with IBM, we had spoken to a group of people who are hooked on Big Blue’s plans, and what we heard was that Big Blue would now be launching the entry-level and mid-range Power10 machines in June for a shipment at the end of July – and more precisely on July 27, which is a very precise day indeed.

Sibley didn’t confirm any details, but he made the comment when we asked him about the whole thing.

“As usual, your source network is pretty one shut down,” Sibley said the four hundred with a laugh. “You should think that an announcement in June might be slightly earlier if we don’t ship by the end of July. Also, we don’t usually announce hardware beyond quarter boundaries – sometimes, but not usually. »

Since the Power10 chip, which we dubbed “Cirrus” because Big Blue didn’t give it a proper name, has an all-new core design and is etched by an all-new foundry partner, Samsung, we pressed Sibley to find out if there was a problem with the Power10 chip or get them in bulk from Samsung.

“We don’t have processor supply issues,” Sibley said emphatically, and there are no design issues either. Sibley did not go into specifics, but hinted that it was other system components. “It’s amazing anything that affects your supply chain these days, whether it’s an Ethernet card or a tiny component. It’s not the fancy chips that cause the delays.

Not in this case, anyway. IBM has relatively low volume requirements for Power10 and Samsung has huge foundries, even though Power10 is its first server chip burn. (It could hardly be more chaotic than what GlobalFoundries was with Power8 and Power9, based on the lawsuit IBM filed against GlobalFoundries last year. A lawsuit is one side of a story, of course… So keep that in mind.)

We know that network interface cards and power regulators have taken their toll on system provisioning, and that high-end processors and GPUs that are in high demand, especially among hyperscalers and cloud builders, have a limited supply as production at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, which makes most of the world’s high-end chips these days, is tight and current customer demand exceeds expected supply. And that situation probably won’t change until next year – or later.

Given all of this, we think IBM wants to introduce the entry-level and mid-range Power10 servers right after the American 4th of July.and holidays – July 11 is a logical day to do this – and ship them before the end of the month on July 29. But that’s just a guess, of course.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.


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