Connect with us


IBM shares details on new z16 mainframe • The Register

IBM has lifted the covers off the z16, the newest member of its Z Series mainframe family which focuses on the financial services industry with a new processor that has built-in AI acceleration for real-time fraud detection.

The z16, generally available from May 31, is the successor to the Z15 that launched back in 2019, and Big Blue will be hoping that it can replicate the success of that system which was adopted by many banks. A new mainframe typically delivers a spike in revenue to IBM because plenty of such customers rely on them as a mission-critical part of their business and are keen to upgrade.

For the z16, the new capabilities come in the shape of the “Telum” processor, which adds on-chip AI inferencing capabilities that IBM claims can be used to run real-time fraud detection checks against a transaction, while that transaction is taking place.

IBM dropped hints about its new mainframe during the firm’s Q4 2021 earnings call in January, and our sister publication The Next Platform was given a full technical briefing of the features in the “Telum” z16 processor last year.

It appears that the “Telum” chip contains eight processor cores which run at “more than 5GHz clock frequency.” The Z15 ran at 5.2GHz and had 10 cores, but IBM is putting two eight-core chips into a single socket with the z16 processor, linked by a proprietary interconnect.

According to Big Blue, fraud detection models are typically only run on less than 10 percent of high-volume transactions because of the performance issues in running deep-learning models at scale. This means that potentially many instances of fraud are going undetected.

IBM z16

IBM z16

In contrast, IBM claims that the z16 can process 300 billion inference requests per day with one millisecond of latency, with the disclaimer that this figure is based on results extrapolated from IBM’s own internal tests running local inference operations using a synthetic credit card fraud detection model.

Nevertheless, Gartner analyst Mike Chuba, Managing Vice President of the Infrastructure and Operations group, said this will likely prove a valuable capability for those in the banking industry.

“The value of fraud detection at the point of the transaction is something that IBM started messaging with the Z14 and this AI accelerator strengthens that capability,” he said. “When you consider that 85-90 percent of the world’s credit card transactions probably touch a mainframe, you can see the value this could deliver.”

It could deliver a reduction in revenue loss both for merchants and card issuers, IBM said, as well as cutting down on consumer frustration at having to deal with fraudulent transactions on their credit card.

The new AI capabilities of the z16 could find applications in other areas, according to Big Blue, which cited examples such as speeding up loan approvals, and determining which trades or transactions may have a high-risk exposure before settlement.

“IBM has done a pretty good job of building out other AI-accelerator use cases for business applications in other verticals, such as insurance, healthcare, algorithmic trading, etc,” said Chuba. “It can also be used within the z16 environment to anticipate possible outages or optimize operations. So it is a pretty neat addition to the mainframe architecture.”

Meanwhile, IBM also asserts that the z16 is the industry’s first quantum-safe system. This implies the system has mitigations against the threat posed by quantum computers, which may in future be able to crack the encryption algorithms that are currently used to secure sensitive information.

In this case, the mitigations are underpinned by lattice-based cryptography [PDF], which was previously touted by researchers at places such as NIST as a technology that may be resistant to quantum-based attacks.

IBM claims the z16 with the new Crypto Express 8S adapter card provides quantum-safe APIs and access to quantum-safe algorithms which were selected as finalists during the PQC standardization process conducted by NIST.

However, this assertion also comes with a disclaimer since it is impossible to know what might happen with quantum computers in future. While many experts believe that truly useful quantum computers may be a decade away, attackers may be intercepting and storing data that might still prove damaging if it could be decrypted by a quantum computer in five or 10 years’ time.

“Who knows what the realm of the possible will be over the next 10-25-50 years?” said Chuba. However, he said IBM deserves kudos for trying to tackle this problem for its customers now.

“I do think that IBM’s message that the bad guys can harvest now, decrypt later is an interesting point that sensitive data stolen that may not be accessible today could still be exploited years from now. If the bad guys can steal now and decrypt my 18-year-old’s social security number in five or 15 years that would be worth avoiding.”

Big Blue also said it has spent the last three years making significant investments in open-source technology on the IBM zSystems platform to establish a common developer experience across the hybrid cloud for customers. These are designed to help clients use investments in their existing IT infrastructure, clouds, and applications, while giving them the flexibility to run, build, manage and modernize cloud-native workloads on their choice of architecture, IBM said.

IBM’s commitment to the it’s highly proftabile mainframe stands in contrast to Fujitsu, which last month announced a roadmap to cease manufacturing and sales of its mainframe systems by the end of the decade, with support services being withdrawn five years later.

As Wall Street analyst Bernstein pointed out in January, IBM always benefits from mainframe refresh cycles and the latest could add $600m-800m in revenues in 2022, with a pre-tax profit of between $120m to $200m. ®

Source link


European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— By Darren Wilson, Team

— Contact us:

— Anonymous submissions:

Continue Reading


China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending ‘Taikonauts’ To The Moon From 2030 Onwards

China Reveals Lunar Mission

The Voice Of EU | In a bold stride towards lunar exploration, the Chinese Space Agency has unveiled its ambitious plans for a moon landing set to unfold in the 2030s. While exact timelines remain uncertain, this endeavor signals a potential resurgence of the historic space race reminiscent of the 1960s rivalry between the United States and the USSR.

China’s recent strides in lunar exploration include the deployment of three devices on the moon’s surface, coupled with the successful launch of the Queqiao-2 satellite. This satellite serves as a crucial communication link, bolstering connectivity between Earth and forthcoming missions to the moon’s far side and south pole.

Unlike the secretive approach of the Soviet Union in the past, China’s strategy leans towards transparency, albeit with a hint of mystery surrounding the finer details. Recent revelations showcase the naming and models of lunar spacecraft, steeped in cultural significance. The Mengzhou, translating to “dream ship,” will ferry three astronauts to and from the moon, while the Lanyue, meaning “embrace the moon,” will descend to the lunar surface.

Drawing inspiration from both Russian and American precedents, China’s lunar endeavor presents a novel approach. Unlike its predecessors, China will employ separate launches for the manned module and lunar lander due to the absence of colossal space shuttles. This modular approach bears semblance to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, reflecting a contemporary adaptation of past achievements.

Upon reaching lunar orbit, astronauts, known as “taikonauts” in Chinese, will rendezvous with the lunar lander, reminiscent of the Apollo program’s maneuvers. However, distinct engineering choices mark China’s departure from traditional lunar landing methods.

The Chinese lunar lander, while reminiscent of the Apollo Lunar Module, introduces novel features such as a single set of engines and potential reusability and advance technology. Unlike past missions where lunar modules were discarded, China’s design hints at the possibility of refueling and reuse, opening avenues for sustained lunar exploration.

China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending 'Taikonauts' To The Moon From 2030 Onwards
A re-creation of the two Chinese spacecraft that will put ‘taikonauts’ on the moon.CSM

Despite these advancements, experts have flagged potential weaknesses, particularly regarding engine protection during landing. Nevertheless, China’s lunar aspirations remain steadfast, with plans for extensive testing and site selection underway.

Beyond planting flags and collecting rocks, China envisions establishing a permanent lunar base, the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), ushering in a new era of international collaboration in space exploration.

While the Artemis agreements spearheaded by NASA have garnered global support, China’s lunar ambitions stand as a formidable contender in shaping the future of space exploration. In conclusion, China’s unveiling of its lunar ambitions not only marks a significant milestone in space exploration but also sets the stage for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of humanity’s quest for the cosmos. As nations vie for supremacy in space, collaboration and innovation emerge as the cornerstones of future lunar endeavors.

Continue Reading


Aviation and Telecom Industries Reach Compromise on 5G Deployment

The Voice Of EU | In a significant development, AT&T and Verizon, the two largest mobile network operators in the United States, have agreed to delay the deployment of 5G services following requests from the aviation industry and the Biden administration. This decision marks a crucial compromise in the long-standing dispute between the two industries, which had raised concerns over the potential interference of 5G with flight signals.
The aviation industry, led by United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, had been vocal about the risks of 5G deployment, citing concerns over the safety of flight operations. Kirby had urged AT&T and Verizon to delay their plans, warning that proceeding with the deployment would be a “catastrophic failure of government.” The US Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the issue further highlighted the need for a solution.
In response, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) head Steve Dickson sent a letter to the mobile networks, requesting a two-week delay to reassess the potential risks. Initially, AT&T and Verizon were hesitant, citing the aviation industry’s two-year preparation window. However, they eventually agreed to the short delay, pushing the deployment to January 19.
The crux of the issue lies in the potential interference between 5G signals and flight equipment, particularly radar altimeters. The C-Band spectrum used by 5G networks is close to the frequencies employed by these critical safety devices. The FAA requires accurate and reliable radar altimeters to ensure safe flight operations.

Airlines in the US have been at loggerheads with mobile networks over the deployment of 5G and its potential impact on flight safety.

Despite the concerns, both the FAA and the telecoms industry agree that 5G mobile networks and airline travel can coexist safely. In fact, they already do in nearly 40 countries where US airlines operate regularly. The key lies in reducing power levels around airports and fostering cross-industry collaboration prior to deployment.
The FAA has been working to find a solution in the United States, and the additional two-week delay will allow for further assessment and preparation. AT&T and Verizon have also agreed to not operate 5G base stations along runways for six months, similar to restrictions imposed in France.
President Joe Biden hailed the decision to delay as “a significant step in the right direction.” The European Union Aviation Safety Agency and South Korea have also reported no unsafe interference with radio waves since the deployment of 5G in their regions.
As the aviation and telecom industries continue to work together, it is clear that safe coexistence is possible. The delay in 5G deployment is a crucial step towards finding a solution that prioritizes both safety and innovation. With ongoing collaboration and technical assessments, the United States can join the growing list of countries where 5G and airlines coexist without issue.

Continue Reading


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!