The 12-core POWER8™ processor with 7.6 Tb/s IO bandwidth, integrated voltage regulation, and resonant clocking

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POWER8™ is a 12-core processor fabricated in IBM's 22 nm SOI technology with core and cache improvements driven by big data applications, providing 2.5× socket performance over POWER7+™. Core throughput is supported by 7.6 Tb/s of off-chip I/O bandwidth which is provided by three primary interfaces, including two new variants of Elastic Interface as well as embedded PCI Gen-3. Power efficiency is improved with several techniques. An on-chip controller based on an embedded PowerPC™ 405 processor applies per-core DVFS by adjusting DPLLs and fully integrated voltage regulators. Each voltage regulator is a highly distributed system of digitally controlled microregulators, which achieves a peak power efficiency of 90.5%. A wide frequency range resonant clock design is used in 13 clock meshes and demonstrates a minimum power savings of 4%. Power and delay efficiency is achieved through the use of pulsed-clock latches, which require statistical validation to ensure robust yield.