IBM z13:”World’s Most Powerful Mainframe”

In 2015, IBM announced the z13, part of their Mainframe “Z-system” series, and billed it as the “most powerful and sophisticated”[1] mainframe in the world.
The z13 was the result of five years of development at a cost of over $1 billion.


  • based on the z13 chip, a 5 GHz octa-core processor
  • Can have a maximum of 168 Processing Unit (PU) cores, 141 of which can be configured to the customer’s specification to run applications and operating systems,
  • up to 10144 GiB (usable) of redundant array of independent memory (RAIM)
  • Each PU can be characterized as a Central Processor (CP), Integrated Firmware Processor (IFP), Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processor, z10 Integrated Information Processor (zIIP), Internal Coupling Facility (ICF) processor, additional System Assist Processor (SAP) or as a spare.
  • The z Application Assist Processor (zAAP) feature of previous zArchitecture processors is now an integrated part of the z13’s zIIP [2]


  • Securely stores vast amounts of information to harvest real-time through massive memory and innovative compression technologies, vector processing, and chip design.
  • Executes analytics up 17 times faster by analyzing your structured and unstructured data within in the system.
  • Next generation “network-in-a-box” technology supports Shared Memory Communications – Direct Memory Access.
  • Assists with compliance requirements and avoid reformatting of databases with new exploitation of VISA format preserving encryption (VFPE) for payment processing.
  • Speed transactions with 3 times more memory, 50-80% more bandwidth and vector processing.
  • Supports up to 2.5 billion persistent, protected and auditable transactions a day.


Some of the companies which use the z13 are[3]-

  • SinfoniaRx, NASCO etc. – Healthcare – to scale up their existing mainframe
  • Petrol d.d – Chemicals and Petroleum – to “increases sales by speeding up analytics against historical and transactional data from its retail stores”
  • Vodaphone – Telecom – to offer smarter cities and services to smaller cities
  • Mizuho Bank, Danske Bank, Banco etc. – Banking – to enable online and mobile banking systems while decreasing IT costs
  • Dundee City Council, Canadian Housing Corp. etc. – Government – for critical infrastructure hosting


1. Yamamoto, K. (2015, January 13). IBM Claims z13 Is World’s Most Powerful Mainframe. Retrieved from,1-2414.html

2. Lascu, O. (n.d.). IBM z13 Technical Guide. Retrieved from

3. Customer success. (2015, July 18). Retrieved from