Nine big tech companies are partnering to ramp up the speed in servers, challenging Intel's dominating position in the field. The companies are aiming to provide technology that boosts server speed tenfold over today's circuitry.
According to the common statement, the alternative to Intel will come from IBM, and the group hopes that many companies will choose IBM's solutions. The novel technology will address the perils of bottlenecking, which looms over some computing processes.
It may be that CPUs are faster by the day, but their calculations are frequently hindered by the need to utilize data from graphics cards or storage disks. According to tech companies, these delays are critical when tackling big data sets, such as speech patterns or images.
To find better solutions to these problems, IBM convinced the following companies to join in: Xilinx, Nvidia, Micron Technology, Mellanox Technologies, Advanced Micro Devices, HP, Dell and Alphabet. Xilinx was one of the first companies to see the potential of IBM's Power chips.
It should be noted that IBM does not paddle for the initiative out of sheer altruism.
According to estimations from International Data Corp, IBM's server revenue dropped by a whopping 32.9 percent, reaching $1.3 billion in Q2 2016. Meanwhile, revenue from companies that tap into the x86- designs manufactured by AMD or Intel surged by 7.3 percent, reaching $11.6 billion.
Google is part of IBM's initiative despite its heavy reliance on x86 systems. Earlier this year, the company said it is planning to craft server design around IBM's latest Power chip. Google stated that the novel will also make use of IBM's communications technology.
The new tech will be dubbed CAPI, which stands for "coherent accelerator processor interface," with the group of enterprises that backs it going under the OpenCAPI moniker. In this context, "coherent" means the tech will permit a slew of components to share the same pool of memory chips.
This new approach should vastly accelerate processing power, as the current modus operandi asks that graphics cards use separate memory chips. Insiders from the industry are questioning whether Intel will lend OpenCAPI its support, as the company already sports coherent alternatives. Techies who are interested will recognize it as the QuickPath Interconnect.
Patrick Moorhead, from market research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, says that due to the QuickPath's existence, Intel will stay away from joining OpenCAPI, as it will hurt its commercial interests.
In a statement, Intel notes that its proprietary technology gives clients "the best combination of choice, performance, and total cost of ownership."
IBM affirms that servers and other products crafted on OpenCAPI's developments should land during Q3 or Q4 2017.