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Tuesday, 05 April 2022 14:02

IBM unveils z16 'quantum safe' mainframe with AI accelerator


IBM's new z16 mainframe features an integrated on-chip AI accelerator, allowing inferencing from real-time transactions.

The inclusion of IBM's Telum processor in the z16 design means, for example, that banks can identify fraudulent transactions are they are being processed. IBM z16 is said to be capable of processing 300 billion inference requests per day with just one millisecond of latency.

Other potential applications include loan approvals, clearing and settlement of trades and transactions, and improved modelling of fraud and theft risks for retailers.

"IBM is the gold standard for highly secured transaction processing. Now with IBM z16 innovations, our clients can increase decision velocity with inferencing right where their mission critical data lives," said IBM Systems senior vice president Ric Lewis.

"This opens up tremendous opportunities to change the game in their respective industries so they will be positioned to deliver better customer experiences and more powerful business outcomes."

The company also says the z16 "is specifically designed to help protect against near-future threats that might be used to crack today's encryption technologies."

It is already recognised that criminals and other actors may be stealing and storing encrypted data with an eye to decrypting it when quantum computing becomes an affordable reality.

Described as the industry's first quantum-safe system, the z16 uses lattice-based cryptography, helping protect data and systems against current and future threats.

Furthermore, the system is protected by a secure boot process, while the Crypto Express 8S hardware security module will offer classical and quantum-safe cryptography.

IBM also sees the z16 as a part of hybrid cloud, thanks to recent products and services including the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Stack, the IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center; Tailored Fit ("cloud-like") Pricing: and the availability of the Anaconda data science frameworks and libraries for Linux on Z.

IBM z16 will be generally available on 31 May 2022.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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