System/390 ES/9000 Processor characteristics

The following is the text of an IBM U.S. Marketing & Services press release distributed on September 5, 1990.

The IBM Enterprise System/9000 (ES/9000) family of 18 processors announced today for System/390 range from intermediate computers for office environments to the most powerful mainframe systems the company has ever offered.

IBM Board Chairman Thomas J. Watson Jr. called the event the most important product announcement in the company's history.

The new general-purpose processors offer highly attractive price/performance and internal performance growth of more than 100-fold from the entry model to the high-performance top of the line. ES/9000 has the industry's broadest single-family range of performance and upgrade options.

ES/9000 processors share advanced architectures, a compatible family of enriched operating systems and many common functions designed to facilitate customer growth, applications portability, enterprise-wide computing, and unparalleled system-management capabilities.

Comprehensive business system solutions and enterprise-wide computing are at the focus of ES/9000's new technologies and products associated with System/390. Customers will be able to increase programmer and end-user productivity significantly, handle more data in less time, improve current applications, and facilitate development of new, high-potential applications for competitive advantage. Some of the features available on all ES/9000 processors are:

Processor design features

The design objectives for each model within the ES/9000 family are aimed at ensuring that all of its elements will interact in a positive and complementary way for maximum customer value -- from investment protection for existing programs and applications to high system throughput and enhanced availability.

Because overall productivity can be enhanced based on how well system elements work together, IBM engineers have focused their efforts on achieving a high degree of synergy among System/390 architecture, processors, attached devices, systems software and support subsystems to obtain the enhanced availability and application throughput needed by customers for enterprise-wide computing.

Logical partitioning with IBM's Processor Resource/Systems Manager (PR/SM) is standard on all ES/9000 processors. Logical partitioning allows customers to divide processor resources into separate operating environments, permitting production processing to go on while application development, program testing and other applications and different operating systems are running at the same time.

New generations of very densely packed high-speed logic and memory circuits are used in most ES/9000 models. Heat generated by these circuits is dissipated effectively through newly designed IBM Thermal Conduction Modules (TCMs). The TCMs used in the high-end ES/9000 processors contain more circuits in a single five-inch-square device than some entire large-scale processors of the 1980s.

Fiber optic channels

ESCON architecture, implementing fiber optic channels, is available on all ES/9000 models and the channels are standard on some. This new architecture permits the ES/9000 to connect with peripheral storage devices, communications equipment and workstations at higher speed and greater distances than previously possible. The result can be increased performance and flexibility. This capability also will be implemented on selected Enterprise System/3090 (ES/3090) J models.

Vector facilities

The ES/9000 processors are general purpose computers. With optional vector facilities, (available on 14 of the 18 models, including six air-cooled models), ES/9000 processors can become powerful supercomputers for scientific and engineering applications.

Selected models use a specially enhanced vector design that permits overlapping of the scalar and vector execution elements and which supports multiple pipelines. The vector execution element permits up to four integer or single precision add, subtract, multiply or logical operation results to be obtained in each cycle. Up to two results can be obtained in each cycle for double precision operations.

For example, ES/9000 Model 900 with six vector facilities is 2.0-to-2.8-times faster in numerically intensive computing applications than an IBM ES/3090 Model 600-J with the same number of vector facilities. It occupies just slightly more space than the ES/3090 Model 600-J.

Models 190 through 320, and Models 440 and 480 represent the first time that vector supercomputing options for numerically intensive applications have been made available on IBM intermediate systems in air-cooled environments.

The ES/9000 models are as follows:

Model Type Max. total storage Max. ESCON & parallel channels Max. Vector facilities
Water cooled
900 6-way MP 9 Gigabytes 256 6
820 4-way MP 9GB 256 4
720 6-way MP 4.5GB 128 6
620 4-way MP 4.5GB 128 4
580 3-way MP 2.25GB 64 3
500 Dyadic 2.25GB 64 2
340 Uniproc. 2.25GB 64 1
330 Uniproc. 1152 Megabytes 64 1
Air cooled
480 Dyadic 1024MB 48 2
440 Dyadic 1024MB 48 2
320 Uniproc. 1024MB 48 1
260 Uniproc. 1024MB 48 1
210 Uniproc. 1024MB 48 1
190 Uniproc. 512MB 32 1
Rack mounted
170 Uniproc. 256MB 24 0
150 Uniproc. 256MB 12 0
130 Uniproc. 256MB 12 0
120 Uniproc. 256MB 12 0

In addition to differing storage, channel and vector capabilities, processors vary in high speed buffer capacities, internal processing speeds, and in their ability to accommodate cryptographic facilities and Database 2 (DB2) enhancements.

Design innovations

High-end ES/9000 design enhances the ability to do more parallel processing by dividing control functions between the system control element (SCE) and the interconnect communication element (ICE). The SCE serves the processors and central storage, while the ICE handles the data flow for expanded storage and the channel subsystem.

Each SCE has a data path to and from each ICE and contains a second level high speed buffer in addition to each processor's internal high speed buffer. This design reduces the number of instruction and data fetches from central storage and speeds throughput for the customer.

Very large processor storage

The ability to process and retrieve large volumes of data quickly and accurately expands opportunities for customers to build new, more competitive and enterprise-wide applications. ES/9000 offers significantly increased processor storage with one gigabyte (billion bytes) of central storage and up to eight gigabytes of expanded storage available on the Models 820 and 900 --double the capacity of processor storage available in the ES/3090 Model 600 J, IBM's previously most powerful system.

Other ES/9000 models contain significantly more processor storage (central and expanded) than previous IBM System/370 processors. For example, the ES/9000 Model 480 can have 16 times the storage of the Enterprise System (ES/4381) Model 92E, and the ES/9000 Model 170 can have up to 16 times the storage of the Enterprise System/9370 Model 90.

Quality, high availability

New designs in system and logic packaging contribute to the high performance and availability of the most powerful ES/9000 models. They have been designed to achieve significant fault-tolerant function in power, processor and memory arrays.

The advanced TCM, logic and memory technology, built-in error detection and correction, new hardware recovery techniques, modular subassemblies, and duplexinq of critical elements are all part of ES/9000 reliability, availability and serviceability gains. For example, with the fault-tolerant power system on some models, if one power supply fails, others within the system increase their output to provide full power to the entire system. The processor complex operation continues uninterrupted.

Error detection/correction codes are used extensively. Expanded storage, for instance, incorporates a sophisticated error correction capability in which all double-bit errors are corrected and triple-bit errors are detected and reported. Further, processor controllers monitor thousands of points in the system and generally take automatic corrective action. The recovery design permits continued operation should malfunctions occur in logic. Instruction retry, channel retry and element deletion are some of the techniques used.

More function than ever before has been placed in field replaceable units and, consequently, there are fewer of them. Adapter cards are not necessary in either ESCON or parallel channels, because their functions have been incorporated into the TCM logic. The fewer field replaceable units, the easier it is to isolate faults and make replacements.

The processor controller for ES/9000 processors can compile a detailed error history, do much of the analysis, and automatically initiate a maintenance call to IBM's worldwide service network. At the same time, field replaceable units can be requested from an IBM parts center. IBM Remote Support Centers each maintain a database of potential problems and solutions to enhance availability at the customer site.

A newly developed large scale function module (LSFM) aids installation of major system units, such as integrated vector facilities. The LSFM is a pre-tested subassembly that contains the TCM logic board, power system, and cooling equipment and rolls easily into place for connection to the system.

Water-cooled models

Selected water-cooled models of ES/9000 use a new two-level, high-speed buffer design with each processor containing a 256K byte first-level high-speed buffer divided into two independent buffers. One holds instructions and the other holds data. This design permits instruction and data fetching to take place on the same processor cycle, thereby speeding the internal operation and increasing application throughput.

The coordination of the four-way and six-way multiprocessor ES/9000 models is accomplished through the system control elements (SCE). The Models 620 and 720 have high-speed data links between their two SCEs, while the higher performance Models 820 and 900 link each SCE directly to each processor in the complex to achieve even greater coordination and throughput.

A second-level high-speed buffer resides in the System Control Element (SCE). It accommodates four megabytes of data, two megabytes on each side of a multiprocessor. This allows the SCE to match the speed of the processor and first-level high-speed buffer with the speed of processor storage to achieve very high system-level performance -- levels needed, for example, in high-volume transaction processing applications.

The throughput improvements announced in the models 820 and 900 are accomplished in part by incorporating multiple execution elements. The multiple execution elements can carry out instructions at the same time and, in many situations, are able to execute instructions in a sequence different from their order in the program. A new IBM-patented virtual register management mechanism makes this out-of-sequence operation possible.

Customers using ES/3090 J models can upgrade into the ES/9000 family, gaining the advantages offered by its technology, architectures, and features. This option to upgrade from an existing family to the new family is unprecedented. It is being offered to meet IBM's commitment to its customers to provide new performance ranges and functions while protecting their investments in programs and applications for the predecessor architecture.

These upgrades are offered directly for customers who have ES/3090 J Models 180, 200, 280, 300, 400, 500 or 600. Entry level ES/3090 uniprocessors can be upgraded to one of five ES/3090-9000T transition models being offered today for the first time. Upgrades can be accomplished at the customer site.

Air-cooled frame models

The ES/9000 Models 190 through 320 uniprocessors, and Model 440 and 480 dyadic models are based on the proven high performance design characteristics of ES/3090 with new technology. The new technology, with built-in error detection and correction, new recovery techniques, and modular subassemblies contributes to enhanced reliability, availability and serviceability of ES/9000 frame models.

The heart of these processors is a System Control Element (SCE) that controls the data flow between central storage, the central processors and the channel subsystem. The main function of the SCE is to execute the storage requests and to control movement of data to and from expanded storage. The SCE accepts and processes these storage requests from the central processors, the channel subsystem and processor storage.

The central processor contains a high speed buffer, instruction element, and an execution element. An optional integrated vector facility can be attached to one or both of the processors in a dyadic system for numerically intensive computing. Uniprocessor air-cooled frame-mounted ES/9000 models can support one vector facility.

The large processor memory -- up to one gigabyte -- can be allocated to central storage and expanded storage. A maximum of 256 megabytes of central storage is available on most of these air-cooled frame models -- four times that available on the ES/4381. Movement of data between central and expanded storage is managed by the SCE rather than the high speed buffer -- a significant design enhancement over the ES/4381. Model 480, for example, has an internal performance over four times that of an ES/4381 Model 92E.

The channel subsystem consists of one Channel Control Element (CCE) that can serve up to 48 parallel or ESCON channels. The parallel channels operate up to 4.5 megabytes per second, while the ESCON channels operate at speeds up to 10 megabytes per second. Channel management functions are distributed from the central processor, freeing it for more computational work.

Rack-mounted models

The four ES/9000 rack-mounted models (120-170) can use IBM's new connection architecture (ESCON) and have many enhanced availability, function and performance features when compared with IBM's ES/9370 series. Input/output controller buses for integrated adapters are offered, including adapters that attach rack-mounted DASD (disk storage) and tape devices. New technologies, packaging, and a battery backup facility improve processor availability in the office environment.

The most powerful of the rack-mounted ES/9000 processors, Model 170, can provide internal performance up to twice that of an ES/9370 Model 90. With an integrated floating point co-processor, scientific and technical computing performance can be improved up to five times over the ES/9370 Model 90.

Rack-mounted ES/9000 models offer up to 256 megabytes of processor storage, which can be partitioned into central and expanded storage. Up to 24 parallel or ESCON channels, and up to six input/output buses for integrated controllers and adapters, provide a significant increase in input/output device flexibility. Parallel channels can operate at 4.5 megabytes per second, 50 percent faster than ES/9370 channels. The new ESCON channels can operate up to 10 megabytes per second and extend channel distances up to 9 kilometers.

Customers with ES/9370 Models 50, 60, 80, and 90 installed can upgrade to the ES/9000 models 130, 150 and 170. The rack-mounted Model 170 can be upgraded to a frame-mounted Model 210 or 260.

Integrated device attachment

The rack-mounted models include support for all ES/9370 attachable integrated devices and introduce support for the IBM 9336 direct DASD and 9348 tape units.

Up to four rack-mounted IBM 9336 DASD units, with up to 3.3 gigabytes of storage per unit, can be integrated with the ES/9000 rack-mounted processors, providing a maximum capacity of more than 13 gigabytes. Likewise, the rack-mounted IBM 9348 magnetic tape unit offers users of these models a capacity of 140 megabytes per reel and a data rate of up to 780 kilobytes per second.

Integrated products, functions

The ES/9000 processors are part of an integrated set of IBM System/390 announcements consisting of complementary products and functions that offer greater performance, availability, security and user access. All models support MVS/ESA, VM/ESA, and VSE/ESA operating systems. Most models support Advanced Interactive Executive/370 under VM and Transaction Processing Facility (TPF) 3.1. Distributed Processing Programming Executive/370 is supported on Models 120-170. This spectrum of software support protects the customer investment in data, applications, staff skills and hardware.