IBM has announced what it claims is the world's fastest microprocessor chip.

The z196 is an enterprise grade quad-core part that boasts 1.4 billion transistors on a 512-square millimeter surface and can handle 50 billion instructions per second. Clocked at 5.2GHz, we're sure many hardcore overclockers have seen their own chips operate at similar or even higher speeds, but IBM's new chip doesn't require any complicated cooling to achieve this.

The chip was manufactured using IBM's 45 nanometer SOI processor. It's a four-core part with embedded DRAM technology, which IBM says allows for dense DRAM caches, or components, on the same chips as high-speed microprocessors. It is expected to power the latest iteration of IBM's mainframe, the zEnterprise 196, in which the company has poured $1.5 billion in research and development over the past three years.

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IBM Press Release
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