| NEW YORK, April 23
NEW YORK, April 23 International Business
Machines Corp, in its latest attempt at reviving demand
for its hardware products, is launching high-end system servers
that it says are 50 times faster than its closest competitor at
The POWER8 servers, the product of a $2.4 billion,
three-year investment, are part of the company's decade-long
shift to higher-value hardware technology. IBM said the machines
are 50 times faster than the low-end x86-based servers it sold
to Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd in
The technology services provider said on Wednesday it hopes
the servers, designed for large-scale computing, will appeal to
clients looking to manage new types of social and mobile
computing and mass amounts of data.
Last week, the company reported its lowest quarterly revenue
in five years, weighed down by falling demand for its storage
and server products.
IBM dominates the higher-end server market with 57 percent
market share, according to research firm Canalys.
"For IBM customers in particular the POWER8 represents a
generational jump forward so far as overall performance and
system capacity goes," said Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT
"POWER8 should help IBM move forward in this very
cloud-centric, analytic path that it has been working on," he
Some analysts, however, say that IBM's shift to high-end
servers makes products like POWER8 appealing only to niche
"Not every app needs a high-end server," said Jefferies
analyst Peter Misek. "With IBM getting out of that lower-end
business, it dramatically shrinks their addressable market."
In order to make the servers adaptable to different needs,
IBM released the data specifications for its POWER8 processor to
the OpenPOWER foundation, allowing the development community to
deliver new system designs based on POWER8.
The foundation, whose more than two dozen members include
Google, Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies
, U.S. chip-maker Nvidia Corp and Taiwan-based
server supplier Tyan Computer Corp, will have access to hardware
previously proprietary to IBM.
(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Dan Grebler)