Specialty Engines: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
IBM Z has long made use of Specialty Engines to provide specific capabilities for customers, including the zIIP engine, which is my personal favorite. So, it really caught my eye when The Wall Street Journal published an article late last year about how IBM's competitors are customizing chips to provide solutions for Cloud and AI. The gist of the article is that chip-making has long been dominated by big manufacturers and design houses, like Intel and AMD, and by graphics chip makers, such as Nvidia Corp. It seems that Amazon, Microsoft and Google are "…getting into the game in the hunt for improved performance and lower costs…building more specialized chips for major customers." (1) This competitive evolution in chip-making provides an opportunity to review what IBM is already doing in specialized chips.
The IBM z Systems Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) has been my personal favorite:
Also notable are:
In brief, the Specialty Engine is an area of leadership for IBM Z, already providing key features, performance and pricing benefits for Enterprise Workloads. Expect IBM to continue in this vein, and furthermore to provide completely integrated solutions for Hybrid Transactional Analytical Processing (HTAP) and Hybrid Cloud.
About Bernie O'Connor
Bernie O'Connor is an IBM Champion and a Director of IT whose other roles included Application Developer, Development Manager, DBA, DBA Manager, Technical Architecture, BI/DW/Analytics, Pricing Analytics, Computer OPS, System Programmers and Admins, Web Services, M&A and Divestitures. Bernie is a member of the IDUG Speaker Hall of Fame, and served as IDUG North America Conference Chair (2005 – Denver), IDUG Board Member (2004-2009), and IDUG President (2007-2008). Bernie is also active in the Midwest Db2 Users Group, and with the Evanta CDO conference. Bernie's industry experience includes Insurance, Banking, Publishing, Education, Manufacturing and Distribution. Bernie also advises startups, like the educational startup, The Purple Pen (https://www.thepurplepen.com/).