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Benchmarking and Systems Performance

POWER7 vs. Ken and Brad

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I try to be a social media maven but I am certainly not a social butterfly. Amazingly enough I have been invited to not one but two parties the week after next.

These parties happen to be "watch parties." To celebrate the event of the IBM Watson system playing on Jeopardy! And boy am I excited.

There’s been so much already written around this event and we are counting down the days. But have you heard about the actual system being used and its performance? Let’s take a closer look.

  • Watson is a workload optimized system designed for complex analytics made up of IBM Power 750 systems that you could actually purchase today.
  • Watson contains 90 32-core IBM Power 750 servers (2880 POWER7 cores, 360 3.55 GHz chips), 16 TB memory, 4 TB disk, all on 10 racks.
  • Watson runs Linux which provides a scalable, open platform, optimized to exploit POWER7 performance for this "Big Data."
  • Watson integrates massively parallel POWER7 processors and DeepQA software to answer Jeopardy! questions. The response time is under three seconds per decision.
  • Performance of this system is 80 teraflops — that’s in trillions of operations per second — based on the LINPACK benchmark.
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    So watch the Nova special on Watson on February 9. Watch the competition February 14-16.

    I know who I’m going to put my money on. But whatever happens, remember what we always told the kids. It doesn’t really matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. And Watson sure does play it well.

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    The postings on this site solely reflect the personal views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of IBM or IBM management.

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    Written by benchmarkingblog

    February 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Posted in POWER7, Watson

    Tagged with ,

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