New Talos PowerAI SKU

If you, ahem, want to see how good the POWER9 is at computer vision -- or any other kind of deep learning -- Raptor now announces a new Talos II package, the PowerAI Development System (TL2PA1). This is a T2 Lite with a 4-core CPU, 32GB RAM, 128GB NVMe flash and most notably an NVIDIA RTX 2070 GPU. Debian is pre-installed.

Wait, did you say NVIDIA? Yes, because the intention with this system is to run IBM PowerAI Vision, and an NVIDIA NVLink-capable GPU is required (and so is a trial license). That automatically wouldn't make this a very good Talos workstation due to NVIDIA's historically poor open-source support (nouveau or bust since Power isn't supported by NVIDIA's proprietary driver), and to be sure, Raptor seems to be discouraging it for that purpose ("There is no way to add OpenGL support to the proprietary driver stack ... This system is designed for GPU compute, and while a minimal 2D framebuffer is supported 3D applications will fall back to non-accelerated LLVMPipe rendering"). However, if you want lots of threads and a system to run a high-performance computer vision platform, you've now got a choice which is at least freer than a comparably configured x86 box. Base price starts at $3450 and the SKU should be shipping soon.

A programming note: I'll be wandering the exhibit halls of the Southern California Linux Expo in Pasadena on Saturday. See you at booth 429 or be less of a nerd than I am.